Counties with the highest unemployment in Virginia

Written by:
July 8, 2024
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Counties with the highest unemployment in Virginia

Despite a relatively low unemployment rate, the fear of job losses remains amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in Virginia using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in May 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Economists forecast a waning risk of recession and predict that the U.S. may instead be headed for an incremental slowdown in growth known as a "soft landing." Still, layoffs among major U.S. employers like Amazon to Tesla have sparked concern among Americans. What's more, unemployment has spiked in nearly half the country's states, which often indicates a looming recession, a chief global economist at Piper Sandler told Business Insider. And with sky-high prices after a period of record inflation, savings and unemployment payments may not cover basic expenses for jobless Americans for long.

For comparison, the Great Recession of 2007-09 sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years. At the height of the COVID-19 recession in April 2020, unemployment hit 14.7%.

Still, as of June 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 4.1%, with little change from the previous month. Regional and state employment range widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state vary, ranging from just 2% in the Dakotas to 5.3% in Washington D.C.

Read on to see the counties with the highest unemployment in Virginia.

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#50. King and Queen County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,960 people (105 unemployed)

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Erin Cadigan // Shutterstock

#49. Richmond County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,999 people (108 unemployed)

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#48. Cumberland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,846 people (133 unemployed)

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Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

#47. Wythe County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 14,191 people (377 unemployed)

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Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#46. Orange County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 17,852 people (488 unemployed)

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#45. Culpeper County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 26,352 people (700 unemployed)

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#44. Washington County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 26,746 people (713 unemployed)

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#43. Bedford County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 39,098 people (1,064 unemployed)

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#42. Stafford County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 78,012 people (2,103 unemployed)

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Khairil Azhar Junos // Shutterstock

#41. Westmoreland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.8%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,504 people (269 unemployed)

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#40. Caroline County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 15,858 people (442 unemployed)

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#39. Franklin County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 27,343 people (762 unemployed)

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#38. Montgomery County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 53,861 people (1,487 unemployed)

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#37. Spotsylvania County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 71,620 people (1,981 unemployed)

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#36. Lunenburg County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,296 people (153 unemployed)

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#35. Northampton County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,508 people (160 unemployed)

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#34. Scott County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,315 people (273 unemployed)

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#33. Amherst County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 14,983 people (430 unemployed)

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#32. Accomack County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 15,881 people (466 unemployed)

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#31. Campbell County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 26,177 people (767 unemployed)

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#30. Pittsylvania County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 30,860 people (885 unemployed)

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#29. Bland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,825 people (84 unemployed)

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#28. Amelia County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 6,459 people (192 unemployed)

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#27. Charlotte County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,157 people (162 unemployed)

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#26. Lancaster County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,750 people (176 unemployed)

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#25. Russell County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 10,902 people (342 unemployed)

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#24. Page County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,716 people (388 unemployed)

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#23. Dinwiddie County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 14,265 people (437 unemployed)

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#22. Charles City County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,690 people (117 unemployed)

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#21. Greensville County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,188 people (136 unemployed)

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#20. Patrick County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,108 people (224 unemployed)

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#19. Appomattox County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,203 people (232 unemployed)

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#18. Smyth County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 13,881 people (445 unemployed)

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#17. Prince George County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 15,933 people (508 unemployed)

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#16. Buckingham County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,690 people (222 unemployed)

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#15. Alleghany County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,297 people (215 unemployed)

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#14. Lee County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 8,255 people (284 unemployed)

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#13. Carroll County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 12,715 people (426 unemployed)

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#12. Mecklenburg County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 13,374 people (452 unemployed)

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#11. Henry County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 23,714 people (806 unemployed)

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#10. Essex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,676 people (199 unemployed)

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#9. Northumberland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,668 people (201 unemployed)

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#8. Halifax County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 15,522 people (567 unemployed)

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#7. Tazewell County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 15,256 people (583 unemployed)

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#6. Brunswick County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,003 people (243 unemployed)

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#5. Buchanan County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,283 people (254 unemployed)

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#4. Wise County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,676 people (505 unemployed)

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#3. Sussex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,683 people (150 unemployed)

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#2. Dickenson County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,619 people (189 unemployed)

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#1. Prince Edward County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 1.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 10,227 people (416 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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