Va. unemployment dropped slightly in Feb., continuing slow decline
But Va. sees decrease in jobs, employed people
Virginia’s unemployment rate continued to edge lower in February, dropping from 5.3% in January to 5.2% last month, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday. However, the state saw a decrease of 3,700 nonfarm payroll jobs and a decline in employed people during February.
The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2% in February, and the state’s jobless rate last month was 2.7% higher than in February 2020, when it stood at 2.5%. The number of employed Virginians fell by 8,808 to 4 million in February.
According to Megan Healy, the state’s chief workforce development adviser, the last time the state saw an unemployment rate of 5.2% was in 2014, as Virginia’s economy was recovering from the 2008-09 Great Recession. “Looking ahead to our recovery in 2021, the Virginia Employment Commission will continue working to help people gain employment or enter training programs that match their skills and career goals, focusing resources to align with the emerging opportunities we are seeing in post-pandemic job market trends.”
“While our unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, the economic impacts of this pandemic continue to challenge workers and businesses in Virginia and across the country,” Northam said in a statement. “Our administration remains committed to providing additional relief to those most in need, helping Virginians return to the workforce, and making targeted investments to build back key sectors of our economy.”
From February 2020 to February 2021, the private sector lost 161,600 jobs, while the public sector lost 35,700 jobs.