As the U.S. added more than 300,000 jobs last month, unemployment rates rose. While the December figures for local areas aren’t in, both Shenandoah and Warren counties continued positive trends of lowering unemployment rates in November.
The civilian labor force contracted slightly, losing 58 members, and the total number of people employed dropped by 23. However, the unemployment number fell from 592 to 557, resulting in a total rate of 2.6.
Shenandoah County and its neighbors — Frederick, Rockingham and Warren counties — fared well in an already low unemployment state. Virginia’s performance continued to beat out national averages of unemployment as the U.S. rate held steady at 3.5 and Virginia dropped 0.1 to 2.7 percent.
Warren County's unemployment rate fell to 2.7 percent in November, down 0.1 from October 2018.
Where Shenandoah County's labor force and number of employed people went down, Warren's rose along with a falling unemployment rate. The civilian labor force added 26 members, 50 more people were employed. The county's total unemployed number fell as well, from 572 in October to 548 in November.
The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9 percent in December along with a surge in non-farm employment totaling 312,000.
In December, U.S. manufacturing jobs — Shenandoah County’s largest job contributor — grew across the board with three small drops. Wood product manufacturing had the largest fall between November and December, losing over 1,000 jobs.
Fabricated metal product manufacturing added 6,700 despite a prolonged trade war on multiple fronts.