The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment information for September 2011 on November 2nd. The report indicates that Hampton Roads job levels have reached a new low; 53군 less employees than the peak employment in July of 2007, equivalent to the region’s employment level in March of 2001. Civilian Payrolls were estimated at 727꽤 for September (seasonally adjusted) declining by 5겨 in August and an additional 3ꯠ in September. The state experienced a total employment decline of 6 positions over the same time period, indicating that Hampton Roads has been hindering statewide employment growth.
Measuring employment changes on a year-over-year basis indicates that retail trade employment and scientific & technical services employment have decreased by over 2 positions each. There has also been continued weakness in natural resources & construction (-1), financial activities (-1), and local government employment (-1). Industries that increased employment growth in Hampton Roads over the past year include education & health services (+1), federal government (+1), ship & boat building (+2), and leisure and hospitality (+3). According to the BLS, regional employment is down 4 on a year-over-year basis.
The unemployment rate increased on a seasonally adjusted basis to 7.24% from 7.03% in August and 6.83% in July. This represented a significant deterioration of the state of the region’s unemployed, driven mainly by a 3.22% increase in the number of unemployed (the second straight month the number of persons unemployed increased by more than 1). One positive note is that the region’s labor force has been increasing by an average of 2 over the past three months (seasonally adjusted), indicating that the labor force in the region remains optimistic about their job prospects.