RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s unemployment rate continued its slow climb with a slight increase to 2.8% in November, still 0.5% lower than the same point a year ago.

According to data released by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the commonwealth’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.8% continues to be below the national rate, which remained unchanged at 3.7%.

The number of employed Virginia residents dropped by 7,426 as employers dropped 2,200 jobs in November.

Virginia’s overall labor force participation rate — the proportion of residents age 16 and older employed or actively looking for work — held steady at 63.6%, above the national rate of 62.1%.

From November 2021 to November 2022, the VEC estimates that businesses in Virginia gained 108,300 jobs, an increase of 2.7%. Compared to a year ago, all industry sectors have increased except the finance sector which has decreased by 4,700 jobs since October last year.

Over the course of November, employment in most major industry sectors decreased — the worst of which were nonfarm, manufacturing and professional & business services.

The leisure and hospitality sector bounced back from its downward trajectory to gain 2,100 employees. There were also gains made in the education and health services sector.