Virginia is seeing its highest labor force participation rate since 2014: Gov. Youngkin announces

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced positive news for Virginia’s job market as the state’s workforce participation rate reached its highest level since June 2014. According to the District Unemployment Statistics Bureau of Labor and Local Statistics (LAUS), Virginia’s workforce expanded by 21, 687 individuals to a total of 4,550,748 in April.

“On Day One we declared ‘Virginia is Open for Business’ and the strong employment numbers for April – the highest labor force participation rate in nearly a decade – is just the latest example that Virginia is on the move,” said Gov. Yongkin. “During this start-up season, with so many high school and college graduates, the high volume of job openings will be a huge help to young Virginians as they join the workforce and celebrate these important accomplishments.”

In addition, more than 25,000 Virginians were employed compared to the previous month, which lowered the unemployment rate to 3.1%. Virginia’s unemployment rate remained below the national rate, which fell to 3.4% in April. LAUS data shows that the employed population increased by 25,127 to 4,410,619 in April, while the unemployed population decreased by 3,440 to 140,129.

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“Virginia’s low unemployment rate and strong employment growth reflect the vitality and resilience of our workforce and economy,” said Labor Secretary Brian Slater. “We continue to focus on removing barriers to hiring and equipping workers with needed skills. We are committed to addressing these challenges by building and strengthening the Virginia workforce for available jobs.” Today and in the future.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is also releasing employment numbers from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey, which showed an increase of 1,400 jobs in Virginia during April, bringing total employment to 4,138,100. Since April 2022, the state has seen an increase of 87,000 jobs according to CES.

“The Virginia labor market continues to show strength during the first part of 2023,” said Secretary Karen Merrick. “Despite significant gains in workforce participation, filling job vacancies remains a challenge for businesses in the Commonwealth, and we remain focused on getting more Virginians into the workforce.”

In terms of industry sectors, employment witnessed growth in seven out of eleven major sectors, remained unchanged in the mining sector, and experienced a decline in three sectors. The largest job increase occurred in leisure and hospitality services, adding 2,700 jobs bringing the total number of jobs to 411,100. Finance followed with an increase of 2,300 jobs, to 216,200 jobs, while manufacturing added 1,100 jobs, for a total of 246,700 jobs. The professional and commercial services sector saw the largest job losses with a decrease of 4,600 jobs to 810,200, followed by the construction sector with a loss of 1,300 jobs (212,100), and trade, transportation and utilities a decrease of 500 jobs (665,000).

Related: Jobs remain plentiful despite pulling back from record highs during the pandemic recovery

Compared to the previous year, nine out of eleven major industry divisions reported employment growth on a seasonally adjusted basis, with mining unchanged and commerce, transportation and utilities suffering declines. The leisure and hospitality services sector showed the largest absolute job gain, adding 24,400 jobs (+6.3%). Education and health services came in second with an increase of 23,500 jobs (+4.3%), followed by government with a gain of 15,800 jobs (+2.2%). Trade, transportation and utilities were the only sector that suffered job losses, down 100 jobs.

It is important to note that the CES survey relies on salary records from the organization’s employers and presents a number of jobs for which unemployment insurance is paid. On the other hand, the LAUS Survey collects data through household interviews conducted each month for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive insights into the workforce, including both employed and unemployed individuals. LAUS only distinguishes whether a person is employed or unemployed, and CES counts every employee on an employer’s payroll. CES excludes certain groups from its data, including business owners, self-employed individuals, unpaid volunteers, private home workers, and those who are on unpaid leave or in a labor dispute.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Virginia Employment Commission website here.

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