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National Jobs Numbers Show Virginia Outpacing Neighbors

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New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Virginia is still outpacing its neighbors in job growth. That’s a trend that’s being driven largely by Northern Virginia.

The latest round of job numbers show that Virginia is — once again — outperforming Maryland. D.C. and North Carolina in job growth. Perhaps the more distressing numbers come from West Virginia, though, which has seen negative job growth. Luke Juday is an analyst at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. “West Virginia relies heavily in jobs that are in decline. So West Virginia is heavily a manufacturing and natural resources based economy," says Juday.

Those are industries that are also prevalent in parts of Virginia, presenting a challenge even in the midst of good economic numbers.

  “Roanoke is working to reinvent itself to pivot from a railroad and coal dependency to corporate services and research and development," says Stephen Fuller, at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, “The Hampton Roads region is doing the same thing, they’re looking to invest and to attract investment in non-federally dependent businesses."

Fuller says that means those job growth numbers are being driven by the economy in Northern Virginia, which he says has seen some success with shaking its dependence on federal spending.

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