Job growth slowed, but the the economy is improving. Job growth slowed somewhat in Virginia at the end of 2020 and in the beginning of 2021; however, signs point to faster economic growth in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year. The unemployment rate continues to fall, and some sectors of the economy have gained back all of the jobs that were lost last spring. The improving economy has led to an increase in mortgage rates and an uptick in inflation.

Here are some key numbers to watch:

-197,000 is the difference in the number of jobs in Virginia in February 2021 compared to February 2020. Even though job growth slowed, the economy has added jobs in eight of the past ten months in Virginia, but the pace of job creation has slowed.

59% is the share of total jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 that have been regained as of February 2021. Employment in the Transportation & Warehousing, Professional & Technical Services, and Federal Government sectors are higher now than pre-pandemic levels.

5.2% is the statewide unemployment rate in February 2021, lower than the U.S. rate (6.2%) and down from the January 2021 rate (5.3%).

3.18% is the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate during the 1st week of April, according to Freddie Mac. Mortgage rates have risen for seven consecutive weeks, though they remain low by historic standards.

1.7% is the rate of inflation over the past 12 months. Higher gasoline prices accounted for a big part of the increase in inflation in February.

For more information on the economic recovery in Virginia, check out the Virginia REALTORS® Monthly Economic Snapshot.  Be sure to visit our Research & Statistics pages for more data and analysis on Virginia’s economy and housing market.

*Data as of 04/09/21