Unemployment in Williamsburg rose a little more than one percent in June, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
The city reported 899 unemployed laborers out of a 5,702-member labor force, a 15.8 percent unemployment rate. The figure was up from May, when the city reported a 14.3 percent unemployment rate.
James City County and York County reported 5.7 percent and 5.6 percent, slightly up from May, when the counties reported 5.3 percent and 5.4 percent.
The statewide unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in June, up from 7 percent. Virginia’s jobless rate remains more than 2 percent below the national average of 9.7 percent.
The VEC attributed the rise in unemployment to high school and college students entering the job market after school ended. “The college and high school students this year have generally experienced the worst summer job market since the 1982 recession. By July, the student job seekers, who have not found work, start to withdraw from the labor force,” the VEC said in a press release. In July, student workers are also replaced in July by adult workers on vacation furloughs, which appear to have doubled compared to the furlough period in July 2008.
The VEC also attributes rising unemployment to layoffs in the motor vehicle industry. “Job numbers began to reflect Chrysler and General Motors dealer franchise closures,” said the VEC.
The number of Virginia residents drawing unemployment benefits totaled 101,000 in June 2009, compared to 98,000 in May.