New data on Virginia’s economy suggest that conditions are continuing to improve throughout the state, with steady job growth, declining unemployment, and consistently low mortgage rates. Here are some key numbers to watch as we monitor the economic recovery in the Commonwealth.
68,000 is the number of jobs added to the Virginia economy between July and August. This uptick represents the fourth consecutive month of job growth in the state. With the strong job numbers in August, the state has added back nearly half of the jobs that were lost earlier this year.
174,000 is the number of Virginians who were receiving unemployment benefits at the end of September. This number represents a decline from last month; however, the number of employed individuals remains elevated. More than one in five unemployed individuals this month worked in the Accommodation and Food Services industry, indicating how hard hit restaurants, bars, and hotels have been by the public health pandemic and economic downturn.
6.1% is the August 2020 unemployment rate in Virginia, which is down from 8.0% in July. While the unemployment rate in the state is still much higher than it was a year ago, unemployment has come down much faster in Virginia than in the rest of the country. In August, the U.S. unemployment rate was 8.4%, and economists are forecasting that the national unemployment rate won’t hit 8.0% until the end of the year.
2.88% is the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate last week, according to Freddie Mac. The 30-year FRM has been below 3% for 10 consecutive weeks. The low rates have fueled a refinancing boom this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the total refinancing volume for 2020 will be higher than it has been in any year since 2003.
*Information as of October 7, 2020