RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2-percentage point to 4.3 percent in June, compared to 8.8 percent one year ago. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the commonwealth continues to be below the national rate of 5.8 percent.
“Virginia’s falling unemployment rate and expanding labor force show the strength of our economy and business climate,” said the governor. “We continue to be recognized as the best place in America to do business because we are building a commonwealth where both workers and employers can thrive. We can all be optimistic about what the future holds as we move beyond this pandemic.”
Virginia had the fourth lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states behind Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia.
“The commonwealth’s positive job growth and falling unemployment rate are welcome signs that workers are finding safety and opportunity in the job market,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “I look forward to maintaining this positive momentum in partnership with our business and workforce development partners, who are working diligently to ensure Virginians have all the support they need to transition back into employment.”
“Another drop in the commonwealth’s unemployment rate is a great way to conclude this exciting week,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We expect to see continuing job growth in the coming months.”
In June, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.8 percent, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 3,200 jobs. The labor force increased by 4,343 to 4,234,360 as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 5,448 to 183,799. The number of employed residents rose by 9,791 to 4,050,561.
The private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 179,900 jobs, and employment in the public sector added 10,500 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 10 of 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains.
The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 67,200 jobs, or 25.5 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in trade and transportation, up 40,100 jobs, or 6.5 percent. Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 26,300 jobs, or 3.5 percent.