State unemployment rate rises for second month in a row

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s unemployment rate inched up in June to 5.3 percent, the second consecutive monthly increase.

The Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday that the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased by less than a full percentage point last month. Virginia’s unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was 6.1 percent in June.

The state’s 10 metropolitan areas were divided – with half reporting job losses, and half reporting gains. Northern Virginia saw the largest job gains, while job losses were reported in metropolitan areas that included Lynchburg, Danville and the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford region.Virginia was one of 14 states in which unemployment rose in June, while rates declined in 22 states and stayed the same in 14.

Still, the June 2014 jobless rate was down from 5.7 percent in the same month a year ago.

The components that make up the unemployment rate include a household survey and a separate survey of businesses. In June, the household survey showed a decline in employment. The business survey, however, showed a slight gain in payrolls of about 4,100, or about one-tenth of a percentage point.

From May to June 2014, seasonally adjusted employment increased in seven major industry divisions in Virginia and decreased in four major industry divisions.

The largest job increases during June were in private education and health services and in construction.

Employment in private education and health services increased by 2,200 jobs to 512,400, the second consecutive monthly increase after declining in March and April.