Richmond unemployment numbers continue to fall

The unemployment numbers in the Richmond-metro area fell for the second straight month. This drop marked an employment recovery in the area which outpaces the national recovery and unemployment numbers lower than the country’s average.

The March unemployment rate in the Richmond area fell in 2016 to 4.2 percent in February from 4.4 percent in January — almost a point below the 5.2 percent mark it was at a year ago, according to the latest report by the Virginia Employment Commission.

Richmond’s numbers average nearly a point under the national unemployment rate, which this year was 5 percent in March and 4.9 percent in February according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Ann Lang, senior economist at the Virginia Employment Commission, the Richmond-metro ranks at No. 13 among large metro areas in the country.

The Richmond area’s labor force had 667,191 participants this February; 639,124 of those people were employed and 28,067 were seeking unemployment benefits, according to the report. One year ago, 652,420 individuals were in the labor force and 618,309 people were working while 34,111 of them were seeking unemployment benefits.

The fastest growing labor sector in the area was in the field of professional and business services, which grew by 9.6 percent in one year. The next fastest growing sectors were logging, mining and construction, which grew by 9.5 percent since February 2015.

Employment fell in three sectors in the area in the previous year: Information, which fell by 1.3 percent; government, which was down 0.4 percent; and manufacturing, which fell 0.2 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent in February from 4.4 percent in January and 5.0 last February.

The jobless rate in the City of Richmond stood at 4.6 percent in February 2016.


Print News Editor, Fadel Allassan

Fadel Allassan, photo by Brooke MarshFadel is a sophomore print journalism major. He is fluent in English, French and Sarcasm, and he probably doesn’t like you. Fadel enjoys writing about politics and making people drive him to Cook-Out. // Facebook | LinkedIn

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