Unemployment rates across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia ticked back up above 4 percent in June, according to new state data, which likely is a return to more seasonal ups and downs than a retreat from gains made in the post-COVID era.
With 595,420 county residents in the civilian workforce and 25,225 on the hunt for jobs, Fairfax County’s unemployment rate for June stood at 4.1 percent, according to figures reported July 28 by the Virginia Employment Commission.
That’s up from 3.7 percent in May.
The jobless rate a year before – June 2020, at the height of the pandemic and resulting government-ordered economic lockdowns – was 8.5 percent.
Fairfax’s tick upward from May to June was replicated across other major Northern Virginia jurisdictions, where joblessness rose from 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent in Falls Church; from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent in Arlington; from 3.3 percent to 3.6 percent in Loudoun County; from 3.9 percent to 4.3 percent in Alexandria; and from 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent in Prince William County.
For Northern Virginia as a whole, the jobless rate of 4.1 percent in June was up from 3.7 percent in May, representing 1.56 million employed and 66,000 unemployed.
A modest spike upward in joblessness from May to June is not unusual in many years, based on the seasonality of certain jobs. Statewide, the jobless rate of 4.5 percent for June was up from 4.1 percent a month before, even though non-farm employment actually rose by 3,200 jobs. Nationally, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was up from 5.5 percent.
Among Virginia’s 134 localities, the lowest jobless rates for the month were found in Highland County (5.1 percent), Madison County and Falls Church (5.3 percent each), Poquoson (6 percent) and King George County (also 6 percent). The highest unemployment rates were recorded in Bath County (19.2 percent), Petersburg (18.4 percent) and Emporia (16 percent).