Arlington’s jobs comeback has almost, but not quite, brought the employment picture of county residents back to pre-COVID levels.
The 149,693 residents counted as employed in the civilian workforce in September proved good enough to tie the county for lowest unemployment rate in the commonwealth, but remained below the 152,566 employed in September 2019, the last year before COVID upended everything.
September’s employment figures were reported Nov. 3 by the Virginia Employment Commission.
With 2,667 looking for jobs, the Arlington unemployment rate of 1.8 percent in September was down from 2.3 percent in August, which was the same rate recorded in September 2021.
Unemployment rates traditionally drop from August to September as some workers head back after summertime, and all major Northern Virginia jurisdictions saw improved numbers month-over-month.
Jobless rates declined from 2.4 percent to 1.9 percent in Falls Church, from 2.5 percent to 2.1 percent in Alexandria, from 2.6 percent to 2.1 percent in Loudoun County, from 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent in Fairfax County and from 3 percent to 2.4 percent in Prince William County.
For Northern Virginia as a whole, there were 1,602,032 employed in the civilian workforce and 36,052 looking for jobs, representing an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent. That’s down from 2.7 percent in August and from 2.9 percent in September 2021.
Across Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, the lowest jobless rates were found in Arlington and Highland counties (1.8% each) and in Madison and Grayson counties and the city of Falls Church (1.9% each). The highest rates were reported in Petersburg (6.5%) followed by Emporia, Hopewell and Martinsville (4.7% each).
Statewide, there were approximately 4.23 million in the civilian workforce and 111,000 looking for jobs, an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent. That was down from 3.2 percent a month before and 3.4 percent in September 2021.
September 2022 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.