RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s unemployment rate decreased to 2.6% in August, a 1.0% drop from the same point a year ago.

According to data released by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the number of employed Virginia residents dropped by 5,186. This was despite the fact that employers in the commonwealth actually added more jobs than were lost — with an overall increase of 16,700 in August.

From August 2021 to August 2022, the VEC estimates that businesses in Virginia gained 118,100 jobs, an increase of 3.0%. Compared to a year ago, all industry sectors have increased except the finance sector which has decreased by 4,300 jobs since August last year.

Employment rose in eight major industry sectors but declined in two. The highest losses were in the leisure and hospitality sector as a total of 2,400 jobs were reportedly lost. There was also a loss of 900 jobs in the aforementioned finance sector.

Virginia’s overall labor force participation rate — the proportion of residents age 16 and older employed or actively looking for work — lowered slightly to 63.7%, above the national rate of 62.4%.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.6% continues to be below the national rate, which rose to 3.7%.