By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 3 — The Virginia Employment Commission recently released November 2021 Local Area Unemployment Rates that show Page County’s jobless claims fell for a fifth-straight month. Rates also fell across the commonwealth and the nation compared to October.
With 382 claims for unemployment insurance among a workforce of 12,376 — Page County reported a jobless rate of 3.1 percent for November 2021. In October, that figure stood at 3.5 percent — the lowest rate since November 2019. Employment in the county totaled 11,994 for November — a decrease of 124 jobs (or 1 percent) from October. There were 54 fewer unemployment claims filed.
In November 2020, the county’s jobless rate stood at 5 percent with 598 unemployment claims filed. This November, Page County had 588 more people employed than it did a year ago.
Page’s unemployment rate has generally declined throughout the year since starting at a peak of 7.6 percent in January 2021. November’s rate is the lowest since Page County reported 2.8 percent unemployment two years ago.
During the initial surge of unemployment claims filed in late March 2020 and early April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the region, Page County saw a peak of 556 claims filed in just one week (April 4, 2020). April 2020 saw a total of 1,507 claims for unemployment insurance filed in the county.
The Lord Fairfax Planning District reported a regional unemployment rate of 2.3 percent for November 2021, a slight decrease from October’s 2.6 percent. Every jurisdiction in the planning district saw slight drops in unemployment claims from October to November. The planning district reported a jobless rate of 4.2 percent in November 2020 with 5,204 claims for unemployment insurance, compared to 2,872 this November.
Highland County reported the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia for November at 1.7 percent (same as October). Three other localities also reported under 2 percent unemployment, including neighboring Madison County at 1.8 percent. The City of Petersburg continued to report the highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth at 7.8 percent.
Here’s a look at November 2021 unemployment rates across the region and rankings among Virginia’s 133 localities:
• 1.8% — Madison County, 2nd
• 2.0% — Frederick and Rockingham counties, 5th
• 2.1% — Clarke and Rappahannock counties, 13th
• 2.3% — City of Winchester, 30th
• 2.4% — Shenandoah and Warren counties, 38th
• 2.7% — City of Harrisonburg, 73rd
• 3.1% — Page County, 91st
Virginia posted a statewide unemployment rate of 2.7 percent for Novemober 2021, down from 3.0 percent in October. One year ago, the Commonwealth posted a jobless rate of 5.5 percent with 233,440 unemployment claims. Those claims dropped to 115,517 this November.
The U.S. unemployment rate for November 2021 stood at 3.9 percent, a decrease from October’s 4.3 percent. Last year, U.S. unemployment for November was at 6.4 percent with more than 10.3 million out of work. This November, nationwide jobless claims dropped to 6.3 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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