Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: October 20, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces September Economic Indicators Signal Continued Labor Market Strength

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced an increase of just over 5,800 more employed Virginians in September, bringing the total number of Virginians employed since January 2022 to 232,804 more Virginians employed since January 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Local Area Unemployment Statistics (“LAUS,” or the “household survey”), the labor force in Virginia increased this month by 9,025 to 4,610,653, the largest number of workers since counting began in 1976. 

“Virginians continue to fill the good-paying jobs available across the Commonwealth, and companies in Virginia are expanding and investing in our local communities,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “As inflation driven by reckless spending at the federal level continues to cost Virginians more, the continued resiliency of Virginia’s economy demonstrates that our focus on lowering the cost of living and delivering billions in tax relief for families, veterans and workers is moving the Commonwealth forward.” 

The labor force participation rate, which measures the portion of the civilian population aged 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, increased by 0.1 percentage points to 66.8 percent in September, which is the highest labor force participation rate experienced in Virginian since April 2012.  

According to BLS LAUS, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September remained unchanged at 2.5 percent, which is 0.5 percentage points below the rate from a year ago and 1.3 percentage points below the national rate. The labor force increased by 9,025 to 4,610,653; and the number of employed residents increased by 5,834 to 4,494,360 as the number of unemployed residents increased by 3,191 to 116,293.  

“With unemployment at a historic low of 2.5 percent, well below the national average of 3.8 percent, and with nearly 233,000 more Virginians employed in the Commonwealth since January 2022, Virginia is a national jobs growth leader,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. "The focused, demand-driven efforts of the new Department of Workforce Development and Advancement will help further accelerate this progress.” 

“Virginians continued to deliver record results for the Commonwealth in September,” said Secretary of Commerce Caren Merrick. “As we continue to drive initiatives to expand our job market, we will continue to provide a range of services and opportunities for businesses and workers to compete and succeed.” 

BLS publishes an additional employment figure from its Current Employment Statistics Survey (“CES” or “establishment survey”). The CES survey uses payroll records of establishment employers and is designed to provide a count of jobs under which the employer pays unemployment insurance. The LAUS survey is based on household interviews conducted each month for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive data on the labor force, including those who are employed and unemployed. Establishment survey data reflects changes for updated seasonal adjustment factors, and industry classification conversions (NAICS), as part of the annual benchmarking process. 

The household survey only distinguishes between whether a person is employed or unemployed, whereas CES counts each employee that is on an employer’s payroll. CES excludes business owners, self-employed persons, unpaid volunteers and private household workers, and those on unpaid leave or not working because of a labor dispute. 

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data is produced for eleven industry sectors. In September, four experienced over-the-month job gains, one remained unchanged, and six experienced a decline. The largest job gain occurred in Education and Health Services (+3,900) to 583,600. The second largest job gain occurred in Professional and Business Services (+3,400) to 818,200. The third largest job gain occurred in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,400) to 407,900.  

For more details, visit the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement Labor Market Information (LMI) website at

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