(Source: Philip Walzer The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va. (MCT) — The unemployment rate for Hampton Roads rose in June to 6.7 percent from 6.3 percent in May, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Wednesday.
The June rate, however, was lower than the region’s jobless rate in June 2011. The numbers were not adjusted for seasonal factors.
The state agency said the unadjusted rates usually rise in June with the entry of students and college graduates into the job market. Last year, the unemployment rate for Hampton Roads rose from 6.7 percent in May to 7.1 percent in June.
Vinod Agarwal, an economist at Old Dominion University, offered a mixed read on the numbers. Because the figures are not seasonally adjusted, he said, it’s best to compare the latest figures with those from the previous June.
“The news,” Agarwal said, “is actually not bad.” He noted that the number of people employed in Hampton Roads rose since last June, to 756,400 from 750,600, according to the state’s data.
Agarwal said, however, that “the economy is recovering, but not recovering fast enough.”
The unadjusted rates for nearly all local cities increased in June, but they were lower than they were a year ago.
Williamsburg had the highest jobless rate in June, at 13 percent, followed by Portsmouth and Franklin/Southampton County, both at 8.6 percent. Currituck County, N.C., logged the lowest rate in the region – 5.3 percent – followed by Virginia Beach’s 5.7 percent.
Virginia’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.0 percent in June from 5.5 percent in May, but that was still significantly lower than the 6.5 percent jobless rate in June 2011.
The unadjusted rate for the nation rose to 8.4 percent from 7.9 percent in May. A year ago, it was 9.3 percent.
The more widely publicized seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the United States was 8.2 percent in June, unchanged from May but down from 9.2 percent the previous June.
The federal and state governments do not compile seasonally adjusted rates for cities.
Philip Walzer, 757-222-3864,email@example.com
©2012 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)
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