The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary for October 2010 earlier this week. What the “Metro” report does is take the data from the “Employment Situation” report and distill it into 372 metropolitan regions across the nation.
Of course, Hampton Roads is one of those regions, and based on the data in the report (which isn’t seasonally adjusted, unlike the Employment Situation report), the area held fairly steady in October. The number of civilians in the workforce increased from 819,200 in October 2009 to 834,600 in October 2010. The latter number is a slight decline from September 2010’s civilian workforce of 835,400, but that small of a difference isn’t considered statistically significant.
In terms of the unemployment rate, it’s solid sevens for Hampton Roads. Unemployment in September 2009? 7 percent. In September 2010? 7 percent. October 2009? Well, there it’s 6.9 percent, but it was back to 7 percent in October 2010. While this level of unemployment puts us in the median range for metropolitan areas in Virginia, it’s higher than the current 6.5 percent statewide average.
What does that mean for your business? Basically, that while the unemployment rate remains on the high side, it’s still lower than the national average. Also, the fact that civilian workforce expanded in the same time period means that Hampton Roads is experiencing some growth and recovery, even if it hasn’t reached all the way to a full employment recovery. Your business might be experiencing some increases in demand as a result of this growth, so if you need to answer that demand with a flexible workstaff, we’re here for you.