RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2-percentage points to 4.3 percent in June, compared to 8.8 percent one year ago, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday. Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Commonwealth continues to be below the national rate of 5.8 percent.

“Virginia’s falling unemployment rate and expanding labor force show the strength of our economy and business climate,” said Northam. “We continue to be recognized as best place in America to do business because we are building a Commonwealth where both workers and employers can thrive. We can all be optimistic about what the future holds as we move beyond this pandemic.”

According to a statement released by Northam’s office on Friday, July 16, Virginia had the fourth-lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states, behind Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia.

“The Commonwealth’s positive job growth and falling unemployment rate are welcome signs that workers are finding safety and opportunity in the job market,” Secretary of Labor Megan Healy said. “I look forward to maintaining this positive momentum in partnership with our business and workforce development partners, who are working diligently to ensure Virginians have all the support they need to transition back into employment.”

In June, officials say Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.8 percent while total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 3,200 jobs. In addition, the labor force climbed by 4,343 to 4,234,360; the number of unemployed residents decreased by 5,448 to 183,799; and the number of employed residents rose by 9,791 to 4,050,561.

“Another drop in the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate is a great way to conclude this exciting week,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We expect to see continuing job growth in the coming months.”

The private sector reportedly recorded an over-the-year gain of 179,900 jobs while employment in the public sector added 10,500 jobs.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, officials say 10 of 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains compared to a year ago.

According to Friday’s statement, the three largest over-the-year job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 25.5 percent with 67,200 more jobs; trade and transportation, up 6.5 percent with 40,100 more jobs; and professional and business services, up 3.5 percent with 26,300 more jobs.

For a greater statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.