Economic indicators remain mixed in October employment surveys

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that the number of employed Virginians remained above 4.2 million in October 2022. According to BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (“LAUS”, or “the household survey”), the labor force in Virginia increased by 1,162 to 4,348,072. According to LAUS, the number of employed residents decreased in October by 2,503 to 4,231,191.

Since January, 92,673 more Virginians have been employed. Virginia’s unemployment rate of 2.7 percent edged up 0.1 percent from September and is one percentage point below the national rate, which rose to 3.7 percent in October. Throughout the month, the number of unemployed residents increased by 3,665 to 116,881.

BLS publishes an additional employment figure from its Current Employment Statistics Survey (“CES” or “establishment survey”). Virginia CES employment rose by 6,900 jobs in October to 4,101,000.


The CES survey utilizes payroll records of establishment employers and is designed to provide a count of jobs under which the employer pays unemployment insurance. The LAUS survey is based on household interviews conducted each month for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive data on the labor force, including those who are employed and unemployed.

The household survey only distinguishes whether a person is employed or unemployed, whereas CES counts each employee on an employer’s payroll. CES excludes business owners, self-employed persons, unpaid volunteers and private household workers, and those on unpaid leave or not working because of a labor dispute.

“We continue to see economic indicators at the state level and nationally delivering mixed messages, but we should be encouraged by the slight pickup in establishment jobs in October,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Policies from Washington creating inflationary pressure and keeping Virginians out of the labor force is ongoing, and we must remain vigilant in creating the environment for businesses to start, invest and grow in the Commonwealth and get more Virginians off the sidelines and into the workforce.”

Despite the decline in household employment in the month, growth throughout the year remains strong, with changes averaging over 11,000 a month. This is over twice the 2021 average and nearly 60 percent more than the pre-pandemic average in 2019. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.7 percent is 0.7 of a percentage point below the rate from a year ago.

The Commonwealth’s labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the civilian population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, was unchanged at 63.6 percent in October from September revised rate.

“While household employment shows modest declines, the Commonwealth continues to add establishment jobs month after month, and our unemployment rate remains low – a full percentage point lower than nationwide in October,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “In this environment, Virginia offers great opportunities for its citizens to succeed in a career, regardless of skill level or background.”

“The unemployment rate has been in a narrow range of 2.6 to 2.8 percent for several months,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “However, there are many great jobs still waiting to be filled across the Commonwealth, and we remain focused on getting Virginians back in the labor market”

Monthly Employment, Labor Force, and Unemployment Indicators


From January 2022 to October 2022, the VEC estimates that establishments in Virginia gained 107,400 jobs, an increase of 2.7 percent. The private sector recorded a gain of 86,800 jobs, while employment in the public sector increased by 20,600 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, ten of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment increases on a seasonally adjusted basis, while one saw an employment decrease. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in education and health services, up 34,700 jobs (+6.5%). The second-largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 31,500 jobs (+8.4%). The third largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 20,300 jobs (+2.6%). Other job gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (+14,900 jobs), manufacturing (+9.000 jobs), government (+8,900 jobs), construction (+5,800 jobs), information (+2,900 jobs), miscellaneous services (+2,700 jobs), and mining and logging (+400 jobs). The only job loss occurred in finance, with a decrease of 3,500 jobs. For more details, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at

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Economic indicators remain mixed in October employment surveys


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