Employment in Hampton Roads falls by 0.2 percent

Published 1:36 pm Thursday, December 28, 2017

Seasonally-adjusted non-farm employment in the Hampton Roads area fell by approximately 0.2 percent from October to November of this year, resulting in the loss of 1,300 jobs over the one-month period, according to year-end data reported by the Virginia Employment Commission.

This was the second largest employment decline reported in the VEC’s study of nine metropolitan areas in Virginia, the largest being the Richmond area, with a reported loss of 3,000 jobs. The Hampton Roads study focused primarily on the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area.

Data on unemployment for the Franklin-Southampton-Isle of Wight area has not yet been released. However, the VEC expects to have local area unemployment data for November available to the public by Thursday, Jan. 4. The data will be available on its website, www.VirginiaLMI.com.

The third largest job loss occurred in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area, with a decrease of 800 jobs. The other metropolitan areas that experienced losses were: Lynchburg (-500 jobs); Harrisonburg (-400 jobs); and Roanoke (-200 jobs.) The largest absolute job gain occurred in the Northern Virginia metropolitan area, with an increase of 2,700 jobs. The other metropolitan area that experienced a job gain was Charlottesville (+400 jobs.)

Over the year, seasonally-adjusted total non-farm employment increased in seven metropolitan areas and decreased in the other two areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 14,000 jobs (+1 percent.) Richmond was ranked second, with a gain of 9,600 jobs (+1.4 percent), and Roanoke was ranked third, with a gain of 2,400 jobs (+1.5 percent.) The remaining metropolitan areas with over-the-year job gains were: Charlottesville (+2,200 jobs); Harrisonburg (+1,200 jobs); Winchester (+1,100 jobs); and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford (+500 jobs).

The metropolitan areas with over-the-year losses were Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (-6,900 jobs) and Lynchburg (-100 jobs.)

Statewide, Virginia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage point in November to 3.7 percent, after declining by 0.1 percentage point in each of the previous two months. The November seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago.

For the most part, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment has been trending downward since the peak rate of 7.4 percent in January and February of 2010. November’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly as the number of unemployed rose by 1,564 and the labor force contracted by 11,435, with an employment decline of 12,999. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged in November at 4.1 percent.

Virginia’s seasonally-adjusted non-farm employment decreased by 5,700 jobs in November to 3,966,500, which was the second consecutive monthly decline. In addition, October’s initially reported loss of 5,800 jobs was revised downward by 900 jobs to an over-the-month loss of 6,700 jobs. Upward revisions totaling 4,700 jobs to October’s employment in leisure and hospitality and in finance were more than offset by the downward revisions totaling 5,600 jobs to all the other industries with the exception of mining, which was not revised. The largest three revisions occurred in leisure and hospitality (+4,100 jobs), professional and business services (-2,000 jobs), and local government (-1,000 jobs.) In November, private sector employment decreased by 4,800 jobs to 3,254,200, and public sector payrolls decreased by 900 jobs to 712,300.

From October 2017 to November 2017, seasonally-adjusted employment decreased in four major industry divisions, increased in six major industry divisions, and was unchanged in mining at 7,800.

The largest job loss during November occurred in the trade and transportation sector, which was down 4,700 jobs to 656,600 — the second consecutive monthly decline. The job loss in trade and transportation occurred in all sectors: retail trade (-2,600 jobs), wholesale trade (-1,500 jobs), and transportation and warehousing (-600 jobs.)

The leisure and hospitality sector recorded the second largest over-the-month employment loss. Employment in this sector declined by 2,300 jobs to 404,300 — following last month’s revised gain of 2,900 jobs, which was initially reported as a loss of 1,200 jobs. Professional and business services experienced the third largest over-the-month job loss, with a decline of 1,300 jobs to 729,200. In November, the loss in administrative and support services (-2,400 jobs) outweighed the gains in professional, scientific, and technical services (+1,000 jobs) and in management of companies (+100 jobs.)

Lastly, total government declined by 900 jobs to 712,300, which was the second consecutive monthly decline. For total government, the losses in state (-1,100 jobs) and federal (-800 jobs) government employment outweighed the gain in local government employment (+1,000 jobs.) The largest job gain during November occurred in miscellaneous services, which was up 1,100 jobs to 203,300. Other employment gains were: 900 jobs each in manufacturing and construction to 233,600 and 193,200, respectively; 300 jobs in information to 64,600; 200 jobs in finance to 206,600; and 100 jobs in private education and health services to 555,000.