Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 2009: A Look at Unemployment in the Charlottesville Area

How's Charlottesville area unemployement?  Two words:  Not Good.  Which is just a little bit better than "Bad."  Tomorrow, September 8, it's likely to get worse, as Governor Timothy Kaine (again) announces, in a special news conference, more budget cuts to cover revenue shortfalls.

Locally, unemployment has about doubled since last year, and is at its worst in a couple decades.  The City is at 7%, while the County is at 5.3%.  At 6.4% for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, it's better than other parts of the Commonwealth and the US.  Try telling this to somebody who is unemployed or underemployed, however (like lots of housing industry folks, who may not even be counted in stats) and ya just might get a big punch in yer snout.

The area's largest employer, UVA, has already embarked upon a two-year period of wage and hiring freezes, and is losing jobs due to attrition.  But outgoing President John Casteen has prepared the community for more cuts and losses. 

The other bad news?  Private sector job growth has ended in this area.  1054 jobs were lost in 2008; 2009 numbers will clearly be higher.   The areas impacted include Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, Fluvanna.  See The DP article,  which details the Charlottesville Reagional Chamber of Commerce report.

The Chamber's report chronicles the past 13 years of job growth, while the following graphic  shows just the past few years.  Click for larger image in new window.
Here's the pic that's worth a 1,000 words (or that will prevent somebody from making a $350,000 purchase).  Click for larger image in new window.
Nationally, the unemployment rate just went to 9.7%.  Including workers who are "underemployed" and those who have stopped looking for work, the number is a staggering 16.8%.  In the past 10 years, the private sector, nationally, has lost 203,000 jobs.  Meanwhile, the government has created over two million jobs in the same period, mostly teachers.  This is the weakest job growth in two decades (see TBP.)

Related Reading:
Map of Layoffs in Virginia
Unemployment at 9.7%: Graphs - Calculated Risk 
Unemployed, Discouraged, No Longer Looking - NYT 
Unemployment Hits 9.5% in July
Blast from the past: Treasury Announces Plans to Take Over Fan & Fred

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