The Virginia Employment Commission released its preliminary local unemployment figures this week after state and nationwide figures came out earlier this month. May marks the fourth consecutive month for Warren and Shenandoah County improving its unemployment rate over a 12-month period.

Virginia continued to fare better than the national unemployment rate of 3.4 but increased both in the 12-month period from 2.8 to 2.9 and rose even more from just one month previous when it boasted an unemployment rate of 2.5.

Over the year, Virginia added more than 50,000 workers to the civilian labor force but also watched its unemployment number rise by more than 4,000.

Shenandoah County’s rising unemployment rate was sharper from April to May as the rate came closer in line with previous patterns. The quick return to 2.6 happened in the same way the rate dropped from 2.9 in March to 2.2 in April.

The labor force in Shenandoah County continued to expand after falling from May 2018 to April 2019. The county’s civilian labor force fluctuated between March and April of this year but was back up above 22,250 in May.

Warren County’s unemployment rate (2.8) continues to remain higher than Shenandoah’s but its unemployment number remained lower in May 2019 — 576 in Warren compared to Shenandoah’s 584.

Warren County’s growth of the civilian labor force also outstripped Shenandoah’s as it leaped from 20,161 in May 2018 to 20,469 in 2019.

In April, Shenandoah County managed to briefly keep pace with its neighbor to the North, Frederick County, which consistently outpaces other neighboring counties. A return to regular figures in May knocked Shenandoah County back down a tier.

Shenandoah County, along with 10 other counties, ranked 22 in the state with the sixth lowest unemployment rate. Warren County tied with eight other counties ranked 43 with the eighth lowest rate in the state.

View the full report online at

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