Commonwealth’s unemployment rate declines to 2.6%, Gov. Northam’s office says

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam’s office said that more people are working in Virginia than ever before, with the Commonwealth’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in October to 2.6 percent, which is 0.2 percentage point below the rate from a year ago.

RICHMOND, VA – FEBRUARY 09: The Virginia State flag and the American flag fly near the Virginia State Capitol, February 9, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. Virginia state politics are in a state of upheaval, with Governor Ralph Northam, State Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment involved with past uses associations with blackface and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, accused of sexual misconduct by two women. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which increased to 3.6 percent, according to Northam’s office.

In October, the labor force reportedly expanded for the sixteenth consecutive month by 13,547, or 0.3 percent to set a new record high of 4,427,753, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 2,368. Household employment increased by 15,915 to set a new high of 4,311,113.

“Virginia’s economy is headed in the right direction,” said Governor Northam, traveling on an economic development mission in the Middle East. “The competition for talent is on, because low unemployment gives workers more options about where to work. Next month, we will put forward a budget that continues investing in workforce development to ensure long-term, shared economic growth in our Commonwealth. We want Virginia to be the best state to work in and the best place to run a business.”

For 67 consecutive months, over-the-year employment growth has been seen in Virginia.

According to Northam’s office, for October, Virginia’s over-the-year growth of 0.7 percent was lower than the national rate. Nationally, over-the-year growth slowed in October to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent in September and August.

“Virginia is home to many of the world’s most skilled workers and cutting-edge firms,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “With competition for top-tier talent heating up around the globe, employers are increasingly drawn to the lucrative business opportunities created by our world-class workforce.”

In October, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 32,400 jobs, while employment in the public sector decreased by 2,800 jobs, according to Northam’s office.

For more on the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate, click here.

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