The return of colleges and schools into session helped drive down unemployment rates in Central Virginia as teachers on summer break went back to work and more people entered the labor market, according to figures released this past week by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Unemployment rates across the region either remained stable or fell in September as compared with August rates, the figures show.
Charlottesville and Fluvanna County had the lowest unemployment rates in the area at 2%. That compares with August rates of 2.5% for the city and 2.4% for Fluvanna, the figures show.
The Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area mirrored Albemarle County’s rates with 2.2% unemployment in September and 2.6% in August. The MSA is made up of the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.
“The largest job gain during September occurred in private education and health services with a gain of 1,900 jobs to 556,000 [across Virginia],” said Conrad Buckler, an economist with the economic information and analytics division of the employment commission.
Buckler said figures show a gain of 300 jobs in local governments across the state while state government employment remained static and the number of federal jobs in Virginia dropped by 900.
Buckingham County saw the largest decrease in unemployment with September’s rate falling to 3% from August’s 3.8%.
Greene County’s September unemployment rate fell to 2.1% from last month’s 2.4%; Louisa County fell to 2.3% from August’s 2.6%; Madison County dropped to 2.3% in September compared with 2.7% in August; and Orange fell to 2.7% from 3%.
Nelson County’s rate was 2.2% for September and August, the figures show.
In comparison, Virginia had a 2.5% unemployment rate in September, the same as in August. Nationwide, the unemployment rate for September was 3.3%, down from August’s 3.8%.