N.Va. unemployment, October 2019

Arlington’s jobless rate was unchanged from September to October and remained lowest in the commonwealth, according to new data.

With 154,133 county residents in the civilian workforce and 2,627 looking for jobs, the unemployment rate of 1.7 percent showed no variation from a month before and was the best among Virginia’s 134 cities and counties, according to figures reported Nov. 26 by the Virginia Employment Commission.

Stability in extra-low rates of joblessness was reflected across Northern Virginia, where jurisdictions’ unemployment rates held steady or declined slightly.

Rates for October stood at 1.8 percent in Alexandria; unchanged; 1.8 percent in Falls Church, down from 1.9 percent; 2 percent in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, both unchanged; and 2.2 percent in Prince William County, also unchanged.

Across Northern Virginia as a whole, the jobless rate of 2 percent was down from 2.1 percent a year before, representing 1.66 million in the workforce and 34,400 looking for jobs.

Statewide, the non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate of 2.4 percent was down a tick from 2.5 percent and considerably below the national average of 3.3 percent. Virginia’s total employment increased by nearly 16,000 for the month to a new record; year-over-year employment growth has now been positive for 67 straight months, while the overall labor force also is at an all-time high.

From September to October, the largest job gain among Virginia economic sectors was in leisure/hospitality, while the largest loss was in manufacturing. Gains were reported statewide in local- and federal-government employment, but a decline was posted in state-government jobs.

Among Virginia’s cities and counties, the lowest jobless rates for October were recorded in Arlington; Alexandria and Falls Church; and, tied at 1.9 percent, Madison and Rockingham counties and the city of Fairfax. The highest rates were found in Buchanan County (5.1 percent); Petersburg (4.9 percent); Dickenson County and Danville (4.7 percent each); and Wise County (4.2 percent).

Nationally, Vermont had the lowest jobless rate at 2.2 percent, as unemployment rates were down in four states, up in two and unchanged in 44 and the District of Columbia, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Four states – Alabama, California, Maine and South Carolina – in October reported their lowest jobless rates since the federal government began keeping data in 1976.

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