Whether it was a seasonal blip or a portent of things to come, Fairfax County’s jobless rate took a non-unsubstantial lurch higher in May.
With 609,431 county residents in the civilian workforce and 16,122 looking for jobs, Fairfax’s unemployment rate stood at 2.6 percent for the month, according to figures reported June 29 by the Virginia Employment Commission.
That’s up from 2.2 percent a month before, although it remained well below the rate of 3.7 percent a year ago.
Fairfax was among a slew of Northern Virginia localities that saw bumps up from April to May. Jobless rates increased from 1.8 percent to 2.1 percent in Falls Church; from 1.9 percent to 2.1 percent in Arlington; from 2 percent to 2.5 percent in Loudoun County; from 2.2 percent to 2.5 percent in Alexandria; and from 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent in Prince William County.
For Northern Virginia as a whole, the jobless rate stood at 2.6 percent in May, representing just over 1.6 million in the civilian workforce and 43,000 seeking work.
The Northern Virginia unemployment rate had been 2.2 percent in April and 3.7 percent in May 2021.
Among Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, Arlington and Falls Church shared the lowest jobless rate for the month, followed by Madison (2.2%), Grayson (2.4%) and King George (also 2.4%) counties. The highest rates for the month were recorded in Petersburg (6.9%), Hopewell (5.3%) and Emporia (5.2%)
Twenty-five localities in Virginia posted jobless rates of less than 3 percent for the month, with six jurisdictions reporting rates higher than 5 percent.
For Virginia as a whole, the jobless rate of 3 percent in May was up from 2.5 percent in April but down from 4.1 percent a year before. Nationally, the jobless rate of 3.4 percent was up from 3.3 percent and down from 5.5 percent, respectively.