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ArlingtonBusinessVa. metro areas still have catching-up to do on jobs

Va. metro areas still have catching-up to do on jobs

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Every corner of Virginia still has some catching up to do when it comes to post-COVID employment revival, but some areas are faring better than others, according to new state data.

Across the commonwealth, there were approximately 194,000 fewer non-farm jobs than there were a year before, according to January figures reported March 22 by the Virginia Employment Commission.

That year-over-year decline, to 4,089,100, represents a dip of 4.7 percent from the total number in the workforce to start 2021.

Each of the 10 metropolitan areas across Virginia recorded year-over-year declines in January. In Northern Virginia, employment was down 78,800 jobs to 1,432,700, a drop of 5.1 percent.

That puts this region in the middle of the pack in terms of job dropoff. In other areas of the commonwealth:

• The best performers of the bunch were in Winchester, where the year-over-year job decline was off just 1.3 percent and total employment stood at 66,000, and in Staunton-Waynesboro, where the drop was 1.4 percent and employment totaled 50,900.

• Next were Blacksburg (down 3.3 percent to 73,400 total jobs), Roanoke (off 4.4 percent to 155,600) and Hampton Roads (down 4.8 percent to 763,400).

• Faring worst were Lynchburg (down 5.7 percent to 99,000), Harrisonburg (off 7.3 percent to 65,800) and Charlottesville (down 8.2 percent to 112,700). All three share one trait, being home to large universities, as is Blacksburg.

Year-over-year job declines have been relatively evenly matched in the private sector, which statewide saw a job loss of 4.7 percent, and the public sector, which lost 4.5 percent. (The federal government, which is able to print money higgledy-piggledy, actually has 1,700 more employees among Virginians than a year ago, an increase of about 0.9 percent, while employment among the state governments and local governments is down.)

Comparing January 2021 figures to a month previously (December 2020), most regions were relatively flat in terms of employment, bobbing up or down a fraction of a percent.

That’s not surprising; even in normal times, there tends to be post-Christmas employment stagnation across the commonwealth before things pick up as spring approaches.

Two outliers: Blacksburg saw the largest job rebound, up 3.4 percent, while Harrisonburg was down 1.1 percent.

For full details: https://bit.ly/3fbhPuq.

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