Arlington’s jobless rate dropped to its lowest in several years in September, as the county retained its ranking atop the jobs picture among Virginia’s 133 cities and counties.
With 147,767 residents employed in the civilian workforce and 2,779 looking for jobs, the county’s unemployment rate stood at 1.8 percent in September, according to figures reported Nov. 6 by the Virginia Employment Commission.
That betters the rate of 2.1 percent reported in August, and is part of a general month-over downward trend in joblessness across the region.
Unemployment in Falls Church dropped from 2.3 percent in August to 2 percent in September, was down from 2.3 to 2.1 percent in Alexandria, dipped from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent in Fairfax and Loudoun counties and declined from 2.8 percent to 2.5 percent in Prince William County.
Across Northern Virginia as a whole, jobless dipped from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent, representing just under 1.6 million in the civilian workforce and 38,000 looking for jobs.
Statewide, the non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in September was 2.8 percent, dropping from 3.1 percent from a year before. Total non-farm employment across the commonwealth hit another all-time high, as employment increased in seven job sectors (most notably in leisure/hospitality) and declined in four. While private-sector employment was up, total jobs in the public sector declined slightly.
Among the Old Dominion’s cities and counties, the lowest jobless rates for the month were found in Arlington; Falls Church; Alexandria and Bath County (each 2.1 percent); and, tied at 2.2 percent, the cities of Fairfax and Charlottesville and the counties of Greene and Madison. The highest unemployment was recorded in Petersburg (5.5 percent); Buchanan County (5.2 percent); and Dickenson County and the cities of Danville and Emporia (4.8 percent each).
Among the commonwealth’s metropolitan areas, joblessness was lowest in Northern Virginia, followed by Charlottesville and Winchester (2.4 percent each). The highest rates were found in Kingsport/Bristol (3.6 percent), then Hampton Roads and Lynchburg (3.1 percent each).
Nationally, Virginia posted the 11th best jobs picture for the month, tied with Vermont. The lowest jobless rates were found in Idaho and Iowa (2.1 percent each) then Minnesota and North Dakota (2.2 percent each). The highest rates were found in Alaska (5.6 percent), Louisiana (5 percent) and Arizona (4.9 percent).
For full details, see the Web site at www.virginialmi.com.