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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 20, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, | Virginia Employment Commission: Ann Lang, (804) 786-3177,

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Continues at 3.2%

Labor force expansion reaches new record high; Lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among Southeast states

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in June at 3.2 percent, but was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago. The 3.2 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May and June is the lowest rate since the October 2007 rate of 3.2 percent. In June, the labor force expanded by 10,407, which was the fifth consecutive monthly increase, and at 4,348,904, set a new record high. Household employment increased by 12,715, which was the sixth consecutive monthly increase, and at 4,211,176, also set a new record high. The number of unemployed continued to drop, declining by 2,308 to 137,728. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was up 0.2 percentage point in June to 4.0 percent.

“Virginia’s ranking as one of the top states in the country for business is due to one of our greatest economic assets: our first-class workforce,” said Governor Northam. “I am pleased to see the lowest unemployment rate in a decade holding steady, increased household employment, and record labor force expansion. My administration is committed to building on this momentum to ensure opportunity for every Virginian with 21st-century job training and by drawing additional jobs and investment to the Commonwealth.”

Virginia has the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states. Virginia has the fifth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi. Virginia is ranked thirteenth in the nation for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate along with South Dakota.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms that our Commonwealth’s economy is steady, thanks in large part to our world-class workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We will continue to provide opportunities by supporting existing businesses and by attracting additional jobs and investment to every region of Virginia.”

“Our growing labor force and low unemployment numbers tell an important story: long-discouraged Virginians are looking for work and finding opportunities,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “Even as we celebrate this success, the Northam administration remains committed to developing Virginia’s talent pipeline and ensuring both job seekers and employers can access the skills they need to be successful.”

Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 43,800 jobs higher when compared to June of 2017. Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 51 consecutive months and has exceeded 1.0 percent the past three months. Nationally, total nonfarm employment was up 1.6 percent from a year ago.   

In June, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 49,300 jobs, while employment in the public sector declined by 5,500 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while the other two experienced employment losses.

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at

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