Counties with the highest unemployment rate in Virginia

Written by:
September 15, 2022
Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the highest unemployment rate in Virginia

Unemployment rates, while significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, remain a subject of concern, notably as economic experts bandy around the idea of a potential recession by 2023. The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2008-2010—sent rates up to 10% as of October 2009. It was not until the spring of 2019 that unemployment finally went down to the same level it sits at now.

As of August of this year, national unemployment is at 3.7%, 0.1% higher than in May, marking a three-month stagnation—following a steady drop since that aforementioned COVID-affected peak. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.8% in Minnesota, to 4.5% in New Mexico and 5.2% in the District of Columbia. Further breakdown by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows yet another county-based spectrum within each state.

To that end, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rate in Virginia using data from the BLS. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in July 2022, which as of this writing is the most current Bureau data.

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Henry County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 25,690 (804 unemployed)
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Alexiskferia // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Northampton County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -2.2%
-Total Labor Force: 6,116 (191 unemployed)
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Ser_Amantio_di_Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Northumberland County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 6,031 (188 unemployed)
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Pulaski County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 15,866 (498 unemployed)
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Cyoung9 // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Galax

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 3,048 (94 unemployed)
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Calstanhope // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Suffolk

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 45,271 (1,425 unemployed)
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Lvklock // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Waynesboro

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.0%
-Total Labor Force: 10,432 (327 unemployed)
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Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Cumberland County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 4,865 (157 unemployed)
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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Pittsylvania County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
--- 1 month change: +0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.1%
-Total Labor Force: 31,496 (996 unemployed)
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Scott County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -0.8%
-Total Labor Force: 8,949 (283 unemployed)
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Caroline County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 14,957 (490 unemployed)
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Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Essex County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 5,517 (183 unemployed)
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pfly // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Lee County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 8,788 (293 unemployed)
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Rhyssdavies // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Lunenburg County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -0.8%
-Total Labor Force: 5,443 (179 unemployed)
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Cnjnva // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Mecklenburg County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 13,786 (450 unemployed)
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Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Russell County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.3%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 11,509 (377 unemployed)
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Cecouchman // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Dinwiddie County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: +0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.0%
-Total Labor Force: 13,449 (454 unemployed)
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Jquesen2003 // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Patrick County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 7,497 (252 unemployed)
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Raul654 // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Prince George County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.3%
-Total Labor Force: 14,985 (513 unemployed)
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Aplomado~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Bristol

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 7,288 (250 unemployed)
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Colonial Heights

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 8,295 (279 unemployed)
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Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Fredericksburg

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 14,167 (480 unemployed)
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Nolanwebb // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Roanoke

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 47,715 (1,602 unemployed)
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vastateparksstaff // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Halifax County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 16,059 (600 unemployed)
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Alma mater // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Harrisonburg

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -0.6%
-Total Labor Force: 24,196 (903 unemployed)
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Will Weaver // Wikicommons

#25. Richmond

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 117,572 (4,392 unemployed)
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Puritan Nerd // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Prince Edward County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 11,419 (433 unemployed)
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Betcantrell // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Norton

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -2.0%
-Total Labor Force: 1,777 (67 unemployed)
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Radford

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.8%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -0.3%
-Total Labor Force: 8,600 (327 unemployed)
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Nathan Yates // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Dickenson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -2.1%
-Total Labor Force: 5,206 (204 unemployed)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Tazewell County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
--- 1 month change: +0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 16,150 (624 unemployed)
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Wise County

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -2.1%
-Total Labor Force: 14,303 (554 unemployed)
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Smash the Iron Cage // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Covington

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -2.0%
-Total Labor Force: 2,427 (95 unemployed)
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Ewelch1 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Norfolk

- Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 109,500 (4,221 unemployed)
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Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Buckingham County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.0%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 6,283 (252 unemployed)
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Petra holden // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Newport News

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.0%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 87,890 (3,477 unemployed)
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hampton

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.1%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 64,015 (2,647 unemployed)
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Lynchburg

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.1%
-Total Labor Force: 35,404 (1,475 unemployed)
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Franklin

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -2.5%
-Total Labor Force: 3,627 (157 unemployed)
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SKM2000 // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Williamsburg

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -0.7%
-Total Labor Force: 6,749 (292 unemployed)
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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Lexington

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -0.8%
-Total Labor Force: 2,280 (100 unemployed)
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U.S. Navy photo // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Portsmouth

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.5%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -2.2%
-Total Labor Force: 43,939 (1,973 unemployed)
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Puddin Tain // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Sussex County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -2.1%
-Total Labor Force: 3,742 (172 unemployed)
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Brunswick County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 6,119 (289 unemployed)
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Sleddog116 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Martinsville

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -2.9%
-Total Labor Force: 5,978 (286 unemployed)
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Tburgess68 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Buchanan County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.0%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -2.7%
-Total Labor Force: 6,587 (327 unemployed)
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DanTD // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Emporia

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.2%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -2.2%
-Total Labor Force: 2,638 (138 unemployed)
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Hopewell

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.2%
--- 1 month change: +0.1%
--- 1 year change: -2.3%
-Total Labor Force: 9,453 (492 unemployed)
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Danville

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.3%
--- 1 month change: +0.3%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 19,957 (1,059 unemployed)
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Petersburg

- Current Unemployment rate: 6.9%
--- 1 month change: +0.1%
--- 1 year change: -3.6%
-Total Labor Force: 12,426 (855 unemployed)

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