Northern Virginia accounts for nearly 38 percent of the jobs in the commonwealth but only was responsible for 30 percent of the statewide rebound in employment over the past year, according to new data.
From August 2021 to August 2022, the local region picked up a net 35,700 new jobs to stand at 1,533,700, according to figures reported Sept. 16 by the Virginia Employment Commission.
That 2.4-percent rate of growth compares to a statewide jobs rebound of 118,100 during the same period, up 3 percent to 4,085,300.
That below-average rate of growth could be due at least in part to the region’s being less impacted by the initial blast of unemployment that hit with COVID’s arrival in the spring of 2020, and a relatively quick comeback in the jobs market in ensuing months.
Among Virginia’s 10 metropolitan areas, the year-over-year percentage change in employment was higher across the board, with rates ranging from 0.8 percent (Roanoke) to 4.8 percent (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford).
Figures represent seasonally adjusted non-farm employment across Virginia.
Private-sector employment in August stood at 3,361,900, up 3.4 percent, or 110,600 jobs, from a year before. Public-sector employment stood at 723,400, up 1 percent, or 7,500 jobs, from a year before. Of that segment, state government saw a year-over-year rebound of 3,000 jobs, with local governments reporting 3,400 more workers and the federal government’s employment ranks among Virginians up 1,100.
Among various private-sector industry areas, leisure/hospitality – the most impacted by COVID – continued its year-over-year rebound, adding 41,900 jobs (11.4%) to stand at 410,300, although the July-to-August period saw a 2,400-job decline in that segment.
Statewide, August’s labor-participation rate, counting those age 16 and older who are employed, stood at 63.7 percent, down slightly from a month before.
Jobless rates for Virginia’s 133 cities and counties will be reported around Sept. 28.