Page County unemployment drops to 4.3% in November

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By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Jan. 5 — This week the Virginia Employment Commission released November 2020 Local Area Unemployment Rates that showed a continued decline in unemployment claims in Page County and across the region.

With 505 claims for unemployment insurance among a workforce of 11,823 — Page County reported a jobless rate of 4.3 percent for November 2020.

That continues a decline in Page County’s unemployment rate since the surge seen last spring during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic:

• 7.5% — July

• 5.8% — August

• 5.6% — September

• 4.4% — October

Page County saw the workforce shrink by 53 from October to November, and reported an overall drop of 249 from November 2019. Page’s claims for unemployment benefits in November increased 42.7 percent over the same month last year (from 354 to 505), but the county still saw 16 fewer claims than October.

During the initial surge of unemployment claims being filed in late March and early April when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the region, Page County saw a peak of 556 claims filed in just one week (April 4). The month of April saw a total of 1,507 claims for unemployment insurance filed in the county.

The Lord Fairfax Planning District reported an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent for November 2020, with surrounding counties all posting rates ranging from 3 to 4 percent. The planning district reported a jobless rate of 3.8 percent in October, and 2.3 percent one year ago.

Winchester saw the biggest drop month-to-month, falling from 4.6 percent in October to 3.9 percent in November. No locality in the region saw an increase in unemployment claims from October to November.

Here’s a look at unemployment rates across the region for November 2020 and their rank among Virginia’s 134 counties and cities:

• 3.0% — Rockingham County, tied for 4th;

• 3.2% — Clarke and Frederick counties, tied for 6th;

• 3.3% — Rappahannock County, tied for 11th;

• 3.7% — Shenandoah County, tied for 29th;

• 3.9% — City of Winchester, tied for 44th;

• 4.0% — City of Harrisonburg and Warren County, tied for 49th;

4.3% — Page County, tied for 65th.

November’s lowest unemployment rate in Virginia was reported in Highland County at 2.3 percent. Neighboring Madison County posted the second-lowest jobless rate in the state at 2.7 percent.

November’s highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth of 12.1 percent was reported in the City of Petersburg.

Virginia posted a statewide unemployment rate of 4.6 percent for November 2020 — down four-tenths from 5.0 percent in October. One year ago, the Commonwealth posted a jobless rate of 2.5 percent.

Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate stands at 6.4 percent — down two-tenths from 6.6 percent in October, but up nearly three points from 3.3 percent in November 2019.

For additional information on who is claiming unemployment insurance in Virginia, access the VEC’s U.I. claims data dashboard (https://www.vec.virginia.gov/ui-claims-dashboard)

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