Virginia unemployment rate hits 9-year low

Southsidedaily.com is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

RICHMOND – The unemployment rate in Virginia has fallen to its lowest rate since 2008, according to a statement from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

In February, unemployment was at 3.9 percent, which is the lowest it has been in nine years. When McAuliffe took office in January 2014, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

“This report confirms we are continuing to make great strides in building a new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

As of January, unemployment rates in Virginia Beach were at 4 percent, while Norfolk’s sat at 5.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is below national rates, sitting at 4.7 percent. Virginia has added 191,600 net new jobs while McAuliffe has served as governor.

The commonwealth has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the United States, and initial claims filed in 2016 for unemployment insurance benefits were the lowest Virginia has seen in more than 40 years.

“Virginia continues to grow its economy, and this administration will continue to ensure economic opportunity exists for everyone across the Commonwealth. We have been focused on matching skills training to jobs, investing in our education system, and providing a competitive environment for businesses to thrive. By doing so, Virginia will continue to see economic progress,” said Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in a news release.

Virginia’s labor force expanded for the eleventh consecutive month, with more than 4,281,000 jobs, seeing an increase in more than 7,300 people in February.

“Today’s announcement highlights continued increases in employment and labor force expansion across the Commonwealth, a cornerstone of the Governor’s mandate to build a new Virginia economy,” added Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Even with this great news, we will continue our efforts with the General Assembly and the private sector to further enhance Virginia’s business climate by encouraging increased investment and jobs creation opportunities, putting more Virginians to work and making Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Keeping positive growth for 35 consecutive months, Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth was 1.4 percent in February.