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ArlingtonBusinessVa. still down nearly 200,000 jobs from before pandemic

Va. still down nearly 200,000 jobs from before pandemic

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In its effort to gain back some of the jobs lost during the pandemic, Virginia slipped a bit in February.

Total seasonally-adjusted non-farm employment statewide dropped 3,700, or 0.1 percent, to 3,893,700, according to estimates from the Virginia Employment Commission.

That puts the total shortfall from the start of the pandemic at 197,300 jobs, or 4.8 percent fewer than in February 2020.

A total of 80,500 of those lost jobs – or about 41 percent of the state total – come from Northern Virginia, whose employment total in February was down 5.2 percent from a year before.

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Two other major metro areas contributed their share to the shortfall:

• Richmond in February had a year-over-year decline of 41,500 jobs, or 6 percent.

• Hampton Roads reported a drop of 35,200, or 4.4 percent.

In percentage terms, the biggest drop over the past year has been in the Charlottesville metro area, where employment has dropped 8.4 percent to 112,200.

The leisure/hospitality sector remains the most hard hit, with a year-over-year shortfall of 85,500 jobs statewide, or 20.5 percent.

Among other major job sectors, construction has been relatively flat while both state- and local-government employee counts have dipped (5.2 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively). The federal government’s workforce in Virginia is up 0.9 percent.

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