Virginia’s unemployment rate was unchanged from March to April at 2.9 percent as the state’s labor force increased for the 10th straight month and employers continued to add jobs.
The jobless rate was down from 3.1 percent a year ago in April, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday.
The rates have been adjusted for seasonal factors that can temporarily affect employment.
In April, Virginia’s unemployment rate remained well below the national rate, which declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.6 percent.
More people entered the job market in Virginia in April, so the labor force increased by 2,637, or one-tenth of a percent, to a new high of more than 4.36 million.
As the labor force swelled, the number of people counted as unemployed increased by 628, while the number of people counted as employed also rose by 2,009 to a new high of almost 4.24 million.
Employers in Virginia added a net total of 43,100 jobs from April 2018 to April 2019 for a 1.1 percent job growth rate, which lagged the national job growth rate of 1.8 percent.
In the Richmond region, employers added a net total of 9,400 jobs over the same period, for a job growth rate of 1.4 percent.
“The latest employment report for Virginia was mostly positive,” said Joseph Mengedoth, associate regional economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
In April, three industries accounted for the majority of the net gain in jobs for the month, Mengedoth said. Those were professional and business services, financial services, and manufacturing, which posted the fastest job growth of any sector with 3.9 percent growth year over year.
Construction also added jobs, as did the trade, transportation and utilities sector. Education and health services shed about 1,500 jobs in April.
The VEC plans to release April unemployment rates for Richmond and other regions on May 29.