By Randy Arrington
LURAY — The Virginia Employment Commission recently released March 2022 Local Area Unemployment Rates, which show Page County’s jobless claims fell for a second-straight month and the unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point since January.
With 406 claims for unemployment insurance among a workforce of 12,176 — Page County reported a jobless rate of 3.3 percent for March 2022. In February, that figure stood at 4.1 percent locally, while January’s rate was reported at 4.3 percent.
Employment in Page County totaled 11,770 for March — an increase of 192 jobs from February’s adjusted employment total of 11,578. There were 87 fewer unemployment claims filed in March versus the previous month.
In March 2021, the county’s jobless rate stood at 5.8 percent with 666 unemployment claims filed. This March, Page County had 862 more people employed than it did a year ago.
The Lord Fairfax Planning District reported a regional unemployment rate of 2.4 percent for March 2022, a slight decrease from February’s 2.6 percent. While Page County saw a nearly full point drop in its unemployment rate from February to March, nine surrounding jurisdictions across the region saw their rates remain the same or show only slight decreases (two-tenths of a percent or less).
The planning district reported a jobless rate of 4 percent in March 2021 with 4,894 claims for unemployment insurance, compared to 3,050 this year.
Madison County reported the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia for March at 1.9 percent — the same rate and rank as February. The City of Petersburg continued to report the highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth at 7 percent.
Here’s a look at March 2022 unemployment rates across the region and rankings among Virginia’s 133 localities:
• 1.9% — Madison County, 1st
• 2.1% — Frederick County, 4th
• 2.2% — Rockingham County, 7th
• 2.3% — Clarke and Rappahannock counties, 14th
• 2.4% — Shenandoah County, 28th
• 2.5% — Warren County and the City of Winchester, 35th
• 3% — City of Harrisonburg, 84th
• 3.3% — Page County, 101st
Virginia posted a statewide unemployment rate of 2.7 percent for March 2022, down from 2.9 percent the previous month. One year ago, the Commonwealth posted a jobless rate of 4.5 percent with 193,867 unemployment claims. Those claims dropped to 117,570 this March.
The U.S. unemployment rate for March 2022 stood at 3.8 percent, a decrease from February’s 4.1 percent. Last year, U.S. unemployment for March was at 6.2 percent with nearly 10 million out of work. This March, nationwide jobless claims dropped to 6.2 million.
For additional information on 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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