Virginia unemployment rate drops to 4.7%, payroll employment increased by 2,400 jobs


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped last month — 2,400 Virginians were added to payrolls, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s unemployment rate fell 0.4-percentage point to 4.1 in April. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is steady below the national rate of 6.1%.

“Virginia’s unemployment rate has decreased every month since last June and is edging closer to pre-pandemic record lows,” said Gov. Northam. “More people are working, businesses are hiring, and our economy is getting even stronger as more and more Virginians receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Our Administration remains focused on ensuring there is an opportunity for every Virginia resident, in every part of our Commonwealth so we can all move forward.”

The number of unemployed residents decreased by 17,097 to 197,338.

Employed residents rose by 4,675 to 4,028,276.

According to the Governor’s Office, Virginia’s year-over-year job gain of 7.7% was less than the 10.9% increase seen nationwide.

“The Commonwealth enjoyed a strong and vibrant economy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the decreasing unemployment rate demonstrates that we are on a solid path to recovery,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “With over 63% of adults in Virginia fully vaccinated, workers are growing more confident to go back to school or rejoin the workforce. Our focus moving forward will be to ensure that they have the skills, training, and support they need to thrive in the post-pandemic economy.”

The private sector had a year-over-year gain of 289,800 jobs in April, but employment in the public sector lost 11,100 jobs.

The largest job gain over the last year happened within leisure and hospitality, which is up 114,000 jobs (52%). Ranking second for industries in over-the-year gain was the trade and transportation sector, raising 67,300 jobs (11%).

A larger breakdown of industry gains and losses can be found on the Virginia Employment Commission website.

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