Va March Unemployment Rate Lowest in Four Years

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

April 19, 2013

Virginia's March unemployment rate was 5.3%. It's the lowest the state has seen since 2008. While there is lots of development in central Virginia, there is still one challenge local government is working on.

Compared to the rest of the country, Virginia and central Virginia has been doing pretty well. The national unemployment rate was 7.6% in March.

Charlottesville City Councilor Dave Norris isn't surprised at the newest rate because he says Virginia didn't dip as low as other states did when the recession hit.

And even with lots of retail stores opening up, like the Shops at Stonefield, the jobs that are being created, aren't necessarily the ones the community wants.

"On the one hand, it's good that we have jobs, period," Norris said. "But so many jobs that we're creating lately are in the retail and service sectors, which tend to be lower paying, and in many cases dead-end jobs that aren't creating the types of economic opportunities we want for our residents. And a lot of us are concerned about that."

And to work on this challenge, the city is teaming up with UVa and other communities who have been successful in creating better-paying, skilled jobs, to make sure Charlottesville takes steps in the right direction.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's jobless rate fell in March to the lowest in more than four years after remaining steady for the first two months of the year.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in March. That's down from 5.6 percent in February and January, and down from 5.9 percent a year ago.

Virginia's unemployment rate has been trending down since joblessness peaked at 7.4 percent from December 2009 until March 2010.

The last time the state unemployment rate was 5.3 percent was in December 2008.

The Labor Department says the national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March. Unemployment rates fell in 26 states, rose in 7 and were unchanged in 17.

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