The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of 2011 annual averages of regional and state unemployment shows continued good economic news for both the nation and Virginia.

  • Nationwide, unemployment rates dropped by 0.7% between 2010 and 2011.  Virginia saw a similar decline.
  • Virginia’s 2011 unemployment rate (6.2%) was much lower than the national average (8.9%).
  • Nearly two-thirds (64.7%) of Virginia’s population is working, compared to a national employment-population rate of 58.4%.  In fact, Virginia was the only state to significantly increase its employment-population ratio between 2010 and 2011.

Compared to its neighbors in the South Atlantic region, such as Maryland and North Carolina, Virginia had the lowest unemployment rate and highest employment/population ratio in 2011.  High employment may be one driver of Virginia’s low overall poverty rate.

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