Jobless rate dipped in Virginia

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe last week announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in March to 3.8 percent, the third consecutive monthly decline.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is the lowest since the May 2008 rate of 3.8 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was down 0.2 percentage points in March to 4.5 percent.

“I’m pleased to see our tireless efforts to diversify and build a new Virginia economy come to fruition,” McAuliffe said.  “We are certainly starting 2017 off in a great position, and … the third consecutive drop in unemployment is a very positive indicator that our economy is strengthening.

“With the threat of sequestration cuts later this year, we must continue to do everything we can to make targeted investments in key sectors of the economy,” he said.

Virginia has the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among major U.S. states.

Also, the labor force expanded for the 12th consecutive month to 4,290,397, setting a record high in Virginia. The labor force increased by 9,248 in March, as household employment rose by 13,530 and the number of unemployed fell by 4,282.

“We continue to see increases in employment and labor force expansion, as well as decreases in the unemployment rate throughout Virginia, strong signs that the Governor’s mandate to build a new Virginia economy is working,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said.

“In partnership with the General Assembly and the private sector, we are making great strides and will continue these efforts to further enhance Virginia’s business climate, support existing businesses as they expand, recruit new companies to the Commonwealth, and spur job creation opportunities, Haymore said.”

In March, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 46,200 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 400 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

For more of statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at www.vec.virginia.gov.