Hampton Roads’ seasonally adjusted civilian employment fell for a second straight month, declining by 2,000 jobs over February and March of 2015. Employment remains 4,500 jobs (+0.6%) higher than in March 2014, but lags Virginia’s year-over-year-growth (+0.8%), and significantly trails the national growth (+2.3%). If Hampton Roads had grown as quickly as the U.S., it would have added 17,000 over the past 12 months.
Differences in Government Employment
Federal employment has declined significantly at both the regional (-2.6%) and national level (-2.3%) as a result of continued pressure on the budget.
Local Government employment has been starkly different, as Hampton Roads localities continue to cut positions (-2.67%), whereas across the nation local governments have begun to hire (+0.5%)
Hampton Roads continues to see declines in government employment, with both local (-1,300) and federal jobs (-1,600) falling significantly over the past year. Construction has also declined year-over-year (-800), and this decline presents another challenge for the regional economy. Healthcare employment continues to grow (+1,700), and has added 17,200 jobs regionally over the past decade. Administrative & Support industries (+1,000) and Transportation & Utilities industries (+800) have also experienced growth.
Hampton Roads Unemployment Holds Steady
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4% in March 2015, the same as the previous month. The unemployment rate increased in the beginning of the year, and is now just below the national unemployment rate of 5.5%.