Virginia unemployment rate holding steady

The percentage of Virginians looking for work held at 3.7 percent in December. That’s about where it’s been for the past year, or so.

The latest numbers from the Virginia Employment Commission report that the rate, adjusted for sessional variations, was 4.0 percent in January of last year. It then dropped by 0.1 percent in each of the following two months, to 3.8 percent in March. Since then unemployment has remained in the 3.7-3.8 percent range with the exception of October, when the rate dipped to 3.6 percent.—the lowest rate since March 2008.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged in December at 4.1 percent.

“Today’s unemployment announcement is good news for businesses and families across the Commonwealth,” Governor Ralph Northam. said in a news release. “As my administration gets underway, we must continue to build and strengthen our workforce, attract new businesses to Virginia, and support those that already call the Commonwealth home. Working together, we can continue our progress growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy.”

Virginia has the third lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states, along with Arkansas and Florida. Virginia has the ninth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi, along with Florida.

The Virginia Employment Commission reports Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 30,200 jobs higher than it was in December of 2016. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 45 consecutive months. In December, Virginia’s over-the-year growth was 0.8 percent. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.4 percent from a year ago

In December, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 32,200 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 2,000 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at




About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.