Unemployment rates reverse
Unemployment in Virginia’s metro areas fell in February, bouncing back from higher numbers in January.
The Virginia Employment Commission reported that jobless rates declined in all 11 metropolitan statistical areas in February by percentages ranging from one-tenth to 1.5 percentage points.
Those results represent a big swing from January’s numbers in which 10 of the 11 metro raises saw their unemployment figures rise.
The biggest reversal occurred in the New River Valley area (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford). Unemployment rose from 4.1 to 5.7 percent in January. In February, the jobless number dropped from 5.7 to 4.2 percent.
The unemployment figures are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into consideration seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.
Northern Virginia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate, 3.3 percent in February. The Bristol area had the highest rate, 5.2 percent.
A breakdown of the unemployment numbers shows:
Bristol: 4.5 percent in February, down from 4.9 percent in January.
Charlottesville: 3.4 percent, down from 3.7 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.4 percent, down from 4.6 percent.
Harrisonburg: 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.4 percent, down from 4.8 percent.
New River Valley: 4.2 percent, down from 5.7 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.3 percent, down from 3.4 percent.
Richmond: 4.1 percent, down from 4.2 percent.
Roanoke: 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.7 percent, down from 3.8 percent.
Winchester: 3.5 percent, down from 3.7 percent.