For Immediate Release: January 26, 2016
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Employment Commission: Tim Kestner, (804) 786-7496, tim.kestner@vec.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces Highest Employment Level in History of the Commonwealth

 

Governor McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s employment level reached 3,856,100 in December 2015, the highest in the Commonwealth’s history. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent.  Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.6 percentage point from December 2014 and remains below the national rate, which was at 5.0 percent in December. Virginia has created 96,500 net new jobs since Governor McAuliffe took office. 

December was the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year employment growth in the Commonwealth, and at 1.5 percent, is the highest growth since September 2011.  

Once again, in December, Virginia had the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states and the fourth-best rate among states east of the Mississippi. 

The average weekly wage for private employers was $917.35 in December, which is 3.2 percent above a year ago.  

“I am proud of the success we are having creating new jobs and economic opportunities for Virginians across this Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Record employment levels and our sustained position as the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast are unquestionably good news – but we cannot afford to let up now. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to lay a foundation for continued economic growth by transforming our education and workforce development systems, helping our veterans transition successfully into the private sector and expanding access to economic essentials like health care.” 

“The private sector continues to drive job growth in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “Twenty-one months of consecutive job growth is great news for Virginia, yet we still have many opportunities to spur more growth in all regions.” 

From December 2014 to December 2015, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 58,700 jobs. Over the year, employment grew 1.5 percent. In December, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 59,700 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year loss of 1,000 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 8 of the 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains. 

For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at www.vec.virginia.gov.   

 

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