The jobless rate for both states was the lowest in over 10 years.

The latest jobs numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal good news for the region. January numbers show unemployment rates for Maryland and Virginia lower than the national average.

The new data for January 2019 was just released due to delays from the government shutdown. The unemployment for Maryland was 3.7 percent, while it was 2.8 percent for Virginia. Both rates are below the national unemployment rate of 4.0 percent.

Maryland jobs grew by 23,500 in 2018, which was an overall increase of 0.9 percent, making the unemployment rate this past January the lowest number in over 10 years. Low unemployment in Maryland has created challenges for employers looking to fill jobs, says Acting Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski. 

“Working with industry and business partners, we’re addressing employee skill gaps through workforce development programs that help workers overcome barriers to employment, learn new skills, and obtain important credentials, ensuring Maryland’s businesses have the talent they need to compete and grow.”

In Virginia, the unemployment rate was even stronger, coming in at 2.8 percent. The state added 23,700 jobs in January, pushing year-over-year numbers to a record high. Job growth was the highest in the leisure and hospitality sector, followed by professional and business services. Late last year, Crystal City, Virginia, was named a HQ2 site by Amazon. The move by the retail giant will bring an estimated 25,000 jobs to Northern Virginia, along with added revenue from construction and secondary hiring.

Numbers for the District of Columbia weren’t as rosy. The unemployment rate for Washington, D.C., in January was 5.4 percent, higher than the national average. The state with the highest unemployment rate for January was Alaska at 6.5 percent.

Do you feel confident about the economy in the region? Are you excited about Amazon’s move to Virginia? Tell us in the comments!

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