Northern Virginia has regained about 107,000 of the jobs it lost during the initial jolt of the pandemic, according to new state data, though it continues to have a way to go to return to pre-pandemic employment norms.
The year-over-year increase in non-farm payroll employment in Northern Virginia from a year before stood at 7.8 percent, above the statewide rebound of 7 percent, according to figures reported by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Growth in payroll employment from May 2020 to May 2021 ranged from 4.5 percent in Richmond to 9.4 percent in Harrisonburg. Statewide, about 255,000 jobs came back, with total payroll employment at just under 3.9 million.
The comeback has been strongest in the private sector, where year-over-year job growth in May stood at 8.8 percent. Two particularly hard-hit sectors (leisure/hospitality and trade/transportation) saw upticks of 45.7 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Year-over-year public-sector employment across the commonwealth is still down a hair from May 2020, due to a 3-percent drop in overall state-government jobs. Employment at the local-government level is in positive territory, and federal-government employment in Virginia grew throughout most of the pandemic.