Job growth in the Roanoke Region is exceeding state and national averages, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total employment is up by 2,400 jobs from September 2016 to September 2017, representing a net increase in overall regional employment of 1.5 percent.
Job growth in the Commonwealth of Virginia was 0.9 percent over the period and employment grew in the nation by 1.2 percent. The Roanoke Region’s rate of growth is only slightly below Charlottesville, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and Winchester and exceeds the rate of growth experienced in most metro areas across the state. Roanoke is also ranked in the top 37 percent of U.S. metros for employment growth over the period.
Area employment is at its highest level for any September on record, which puts the region firmly in post economic recovery territory. Regional unemployment, at 3.6 percent, is at its lowest level of any September since 2007.
Virginia Job Growth, September 2016 to September 2017
|Employment (in thousands)||September 2017||September 2016||Change||Percent Change|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News||767.1||776.8||-9.7||-1.2%|
The region continues to see growth in service-providing industries. The region’s employment gains were mainly in professional and business services, education and health, retail trade, and financial services. Examples of industries within these economic sectors include architecture/engineering firms, computer and information technology services, accounting, bookkeeping, payroll services, company management, advertising services, research services, health care, educational institutions, insurance, retail establishments, and others.
The region is poised for continued growth heading into 2018. In the last 18 months, more than 1,800 jobs have been announced from projects including PowerSchool, Humm Kombucha, Altec, Wholesome Harvest Baking, Deschutes Brewery, Eldor Corporation, UnitedHealthcare, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Community College System, and Ballast Point Brewing among others.
The majority of these jobs have not yet been created and will ensure additional growth of Roanoke’s labor market and the addition of high-wage positions in future years. Sectors represented in these announcements include scientific research, software development, business services, food and beverage manufacturing, transportation equipment manufacturing, and other advanced manufacturing industries.