Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from May to June as the state’s labor force continued to grow.

The jobless rate was 2.9% in June, down one-tenth of a percentage point from May and from June a year ago.

The state’s labor force expanded for the 12th consecutive month by 9,099 to set a new record high of 4,377,595, state officials announced. The number of people counted as unemployed declined by 1,036 in June.

The unemployment rate has been adjusted for seasonal factors that can temporarily affect employment, such as school closings.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which rose one-tenth of a percentage point in June to 3.7%.

From June 2018 to June 2019, employers in Virginia added a net total of 27,600 jobs, a 0.7% job growth rate that lagged the national job growth rate of 1.5%.

In the Richmond region, employers added a net total of 8,500 jobs from June 2018 to June 2019, a job growth rate of 1.3%.

Statewide, the largest year-over-year job gains occurred in professional and business services, which added 10,200 jobs, and in private education and health services, which added 8,200 jobs. Job gains also were recorded in leisure and hospitality by 7,600 jobs, manufacturing by 6,700 jobs and construction by 3,500 jobs.

The hiring trend was negative from May to June, though, as employers statewide shed about 1,200 jobs.

In the first half of 2019, the average monthly job gain in Virginia has been 3,800 jobs, which is slightly slower than the average of 4,600 jobs per month in the first half of 2018, said Joseph Mengedoth, associate regional economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Unemployment rates were lower in June in six states and stable in 44 states and in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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