Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that the number of employed residents increased by 4,485 to 4,228,407 as of December 2022. According to local BLS unemployment statistics (“LAUS” or “the household survey”), the labor force in Virginia increased from 9,611 to 4,357,319.
Since January 2022, nearly 90,000 more Virginians are employed. More Virginians left the sidelines and began looking for jobs in December; and the Commonwealth unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 3.0%, still below the national rate of 3.5%. During the month, the number of unemployed residents rose by 5,126 to 128,912, but the total number is down 10,422 since January 2022.
“Throughout the first year of our administration, job growth in Virginia has been overwhelmingly led by the private sector – providing 86% of year-over-year job growth – our valuable defense and public sector sectors also continuing their strong contribution”, said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This encouraging report showed thousands of Virginians are leaving the sidelines and re-entering the workforce. We remain focused on improving Virginia’s competitive presence among states competing for jobs and businesses. As Virginia businesses continue to raise payrolls and stimulate our economy, we must continue to move forward to reduce the cost of living and the cost of doing business in the Commonwealth.
Job growth has averaged 9,000 per month over the past year, more than double the 2021 average and 28% higher than the pre-pandemic average in 2019. The unemployment rate seasonally adjusted rate of 3.0% in Virginia is 0.3 percentage points lower than the one-year rate. since.
The Commonwealth labor force participation rate increased to 63.7% in December. The activity rate measures the proportion of the civilian population aged 16 and over who are employed or actively seeking work.
“Nearly 10,000 Virginians joined the workforce in December,” Labor Secretary Bryan Slater said.“This is the biggest increase since May last year and is a promising sign that more people are leaving the sidelines and returning to the workforce as we enter the new year.”
“The Commonwealth unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range of 2.6% and 3.0% for much of 2022,” said Secretary of Commerce and Commerce Caren Merrick. “These low levels indicate a strong job market, and we are encouraged by the number of people entering the job market in December.”
The BLS releases an additional employment figure from its Current Employment Statistics Survey (“CES” or “Establishment Survey”). Virginia CES employment edged up 100 jobs in December to 4,097,900.
The CES survey uses payroll records from employers in the establishment and is designed to provide a count of jobs for which the employer pays unemployment insurance. The LAUS survey is based on household interviews conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive data on the labor force, including those employed and unemployed.
The household survey only distinguishes whether a person is employed or unemployed, while the CES counts each employee registered on an employer’s payroll. The CES excludes business owners, the self-employed, unpaid volunteers and private household workers, as well as people on unpaid leave or inactive due to a labor dispute.