Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.7%

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in September to 2.7 percent and was down 0.1 percentage point from a year ago. In September, the labor force expanded for the fifteenth consecutive month by 10,132, or 0.2 percent, to set a new record high of 4,414,521, as the number of unemployed decreased by 3,555. Household employment increased by 13,687 to set a new high of 4,295,502. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which decreased to 3.5 percent.

“I am pleased to see the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate drop to its lowest point in more than 18 years, a clear signal that our economy is strong and our efforts to attract 21st-century jobs to Virginia are paying off,” said Governor Northam. “With more and more companies from diverse industries choosing to locate and invest in Virginia, we are showing the country and the world exactly why we are the best state for business. My administration will stay focused on creating economic opportunity so that every Virginian can share in our success, no matter who they are or where in the Commonwealth they live.”

Virginia has the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states. Virginia has the third best rate among the states east of the Mississippi. Virginia is ranked third in the nation for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate along with Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah. 

“We continue to be proud that Virginia has one of the nation’s and our region’s lowest unemployment rates, but we must also remain focused on creating high-quality, family-sustaining jobs across every part of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Northam administration is committed to ensuring we give every Virginian the opportunity to participate in our thriving economy.”

Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 66 consecutive months. For September, Virginia’s over-the-year growth of 0.6 percent was less than the national rate. Nationally, over-the-year growth was relatively unchanged in September at 1.4 percent.

“It is great that Virginia’s economy is doing so well,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “Virginia’s workforce is second to none and we continue to be a national leader by providing quality, skilled labor to all our businesses.”

In September, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 25,600 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased by 300 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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