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Hampton Roads Employment Continues Weak Growth

Hampton Roads Employment Continues Weak Growth


Hampton Roads experienced its third straight month of (albeit weak) employment gains. The region added 600 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, and has added 3꼀 since September.  This is still below the employment levels seen in the first half of 2011, and is 51걄 jobs below the peak employment level of July 2008. At this rate of job growth, it will take untill May 2015 to return to full employment which would be the strongest prolonged period of employment growth in the region’s recent history.  This is the first time since the recession that there has been more than two consecutive months of job growth and may point to the beginning of a sustained recovery.


The Hampton Roads Unemployment Rate continued to decline on a seasonally adjusted basis, falling from 7.32% in Oct-11 to 7.16% this past December. The decline in the unemployment rate over this period was driven by both decreases in the labor force participation rate as well as increases in the level of employment indicated by a survey of households (the current population survey nationally, and the local area unemployment statistics on the state and regional level). The improvement in the local unemployment situation has occurred over a much shorter time frame than that of the nation, which has declined since August, and the gap between the two unemployment rates has decreased from2.32% in June to just 1.34% in December.

 

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