Virginia named America’s Top State of Business; unemployment rate drops to 4.2% in July

Virginia News

Copyright: The Associated Press

(WFXR) — Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in July. Gov. Ralph Northam says that it is 3.7 percentage points below the rate from last year.

New data out shows the Commonwealth added 144,000 jobs over 12 months across every economic sector. Once again, Virginia has been named America’s Top State of Business by CNBC.

“Our administration is focused on creating an economic climate that will help Virginia’s workers and businesses thrive,” said Northam. “The impressive gains in payroll employment and the downward trend of unemployment rates continue to show the strength and resiliency of our economy and our workforce as we recover from the pandemic. Virginians have shown great resolve over the last year and a half, and it is evident in the numbers we are seeing in this report.”

The report shows that the labor force expanded by 7,818 to 4,241,686, employed residents rose as well with an increase of 15,413 to 4,065,473 in July. This has helped keep Virginia’s adjusted unemployment rate below the national rate of 5.4 percent.

“The continued decline in Virginia’s unemployment rate and the increase in payroll employment are all signs of a strong job market,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “We believe that workers will continue to re-enter the labor force and that the strong job market will continue in the coming months. Governor Northam and his administration remain committed to working with businesses and workforce development partners to ensure that every Virginian has the help and resources they need to find work.”

The report went on to say that ten out of the 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains. The largest was in leisure and hospitality with 46,000 new jobs (15.5 percent increase). The next largest increase was in professional and business services with 30,000 new jobs (4 percent increase). Trade, transportation, and utilities rounded out the top three largest growths with an increase of 27,300 jobs (4.3 percent increase).

“It is exciting to see the unemployment rate in the Commonwealth significantly lower than it was at this time last year,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As our labor force keeps growing month-over-month, we are very optimistic about what the future holds for Virginia’s businesses.”

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