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Virginia Sees Highest Labor Force Participation Rate Since June 2014

RICHMOND-On May 19, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that the labor force participation rate rose .3 of a percentage point to 66.2 percent in April, the highest rate since June 2014.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, the labor force in Virginia increased in April by 21,687 individuals to 4,550,748. Over 25,000 more Virginians were employed in April than in March.

“On day one, we declared that ‘Virginia is open for business’ and April’s strong employment numbers—the highest labor force participation rate in nearly a decade—are just the latest example that Virginia is on the move,” Youngkin said in a release. “During this commencement season, as many graduate from high school and college, the high volume of job openings will be a huge help to young Virginians as they join the workforce and celebrate these momentous achievements.”

Employment rose in seven of eleven major industries, remained unchanged in mining, and declined in three. The largest job gains during April occurred in leisure and hospitality services, with an increase of 2,700 jobs to 411,100. The finance and manufacturing industries rounded out the top three with job gains, while the largest job losses occurred in professional and business services, construction, and trade, transportation, and utilities.

As more Virginians returned to the workforce, Virginia’s unemployment rate of 3.1 percent was a slight decrease from March and remained below the national rate, which decreased to 3.4 percent in April.

“Virginia’s low unemployment rate and strong employment growth reflect the vitality and resilience of our workforce and economy,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “We continue to focus on removing barriers to employment and equip workers with in-demand skills. We are committed to addressing these challenges by building and strengthening Virginia’s workforce for the jobs available today and for the future.”

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