The most recent numbers for March show unemployment is down in all three localities from February, but up over the same period last year. The March 2010 unemployment was 6.6 percent in James City County, 17.7 percent in Williamsburg and 6.2 percent in York County. In February 2010, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in James City County, 18.4 percent in Williamsburg and 6.5 percent in York County.
In March 2009, the unemployment rates were 5.6 percent in James City County, 16.1 percent in Williamsburg and 5.2 percent in York County.
James City and York counties both fall below the statewide unemployment rate of 7.6 percent and the national unemployment rate of 10.2 percent. At 17.7 percent, Williamsburg has a higher unemployment rate than the state or nation, due to its statistically small sample size.
In the Triangle, about 5,071 people were looking for work out of a labor force of 69,271 in March. That’s down from February, when 5,400 people were hunting for jobs.
Virginia’s unemployment numbers stayed steady around 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010, up from an average of 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009. The average national unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2010 was 10.4 percent, up from an average of 8.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009.
Last month, Ann Lang, a senior economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, told WYDaily that unemployment numbers are not a great indicator of the economy’s status because the numbers often lag behind other indicators.