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Fairfax jobless rate continues to decline

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Fairfax County’s jobless rate continues its ongoing descent from the heights it rose to during the worst of the pandemic.

With 605,158 county residents counted as employed in the civilian workforce and 14,965 looking for jobs, the unemployment rate of 2.5 percent recorded in October was down from 2.7 percent a month before and well below the rate of 5.6 percent recorded in October 2020.

Figures were reported Dec. 1 by the Virginia Employment Commission.

Lower unemployment was the norm for the region during the month, with September-to-October rates declining from 2 percent to 1.8 percent in Falls Church; from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent in Arlington; from 2.5 percent to 2.2 percent in Loudoun County; and from 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent in Prince William County.


Across Northern Virginia as a whole, there were 1,588,808 residents counted in the October civilian workforce and 40,035 looking for jobs, resulting in an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. That’s down from 2.7 percent a month before and 5.4 percent a year ago.

Statewide, October’s jobless rate of 3 percent was down from 3.2 percent a year before, with 72 of the 133 localities reporting rates of less than 3 percent.

Of those jurisdictions, the lowest unemployment rates were found in Highland County (1.7 percent), Falls Church (1.8 percent), and Arlington and Madison counties (1.9 percent each). The highest rates were recorded in Petersburg (8.6 percent), Martinsville (6.8 percent) and Emporia (6.6 percent).

For the month, Virginia non-farm employment was up 19.400 to about 3.96 million, with private-sector jobs up 13,500 to 3,237,000 and public-sector positions up 5,900 to 719,800.

The hospitality/leisure sector, which had been the most hard-hit during the early stages of the pandemic and the economic lockdowns that followed, gained back another 7,200 jobs to stand at 357,800 during the month, according to state data.

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