By Randy Arrington
LURAY — The Virginia Employment Commission recently released May 2022 Local Area Unemployment Rates, which show Page County’s jobless claims rose slightly in May after three consecutive months of decline. Unemployment rose about a half-percent on average across the region and across the commonwealth from April to May. The City of Harrisonburg, however, saw unemployment rise nearly a full point — the largest month-to-month increase in the area.
With 383 claims for unemployment insurance among a workforce of 12,571 — Page County reported a jobless rate of 3.0 percent for May 2022. That represents a rise of only two-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 2.8 percent, and the smallest month-to-month increase within the Lord Fairfax Planning District. January’s rate of 4.3 percent still stands as the highest of 2022 for Page.
Employment in Page County totaled 12,188 for May — an increase of 71 jobs from April’s adjusted employment total of 12,117. There were also 28 more unemployment claims filed in May versus the previous month.
In May 2021, the county’s jobless rate stood at 4.6 percent with 539 unemployment claims filed. This May, Page County had 943 more people employed than it did a year ago.
The Lord Fairfax Planning District reported a regional unemployment rate of 2.67 percent for May 2022, a slight increase from April’s 2.24 percent. All surrounding jurisdictions across the region saw unemployment rates rise from April to May.
The planning district reported a jobless rate of 3.47 percent in May 2021 with 4,286 claims for unemployment insurance, compared to 3,411 this year. The district had 2,843 claims filed in April.
Arlington County and Falls Church City reported the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia for May at 2.1 percent. The City of Petersburg continued to report the highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth at 6.9 percent.
Here’s a look at May 2022 unemployment rates across the region and rankings among Virginia’s 133 localities:
• 2.2% — Madison County, 3rd
• 2.5% — Frederick County, 6th
• 2.6% — Rappahannock and Rockingham counties, 15th
• 2.7% — City of Winchester, Clarke and Shenandoah counties, 26th
• 2.8% — Warren County, 37th
• 3.0% — Page County, 60th
• 3.5% — City of Harrisonburg, 103rd
Virginia posted a statewide unemployment rate of 3.0 percent for May 2022, up from 2.5 percent the previous month. One year ago, the Commonwealth posted a jobless rate of 4.1 percent with 175,213 unemployment claims. Those claims dropped to 129,579 this May.
The U.S. unemployment rate for May 2022 stood at 3.4 percent, a slight increase from April’s 3.3 percent. Last year, U.S. unemployment for May was at 5.5 percent with 8.8 million out of work. This May, nationwide jobless claims dropped to 5.5 million.