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News Release Information

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Richmond Area Employment — December 2023

Total nonfarm employment for Richmond, VA, rose by 17,300 over the year in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the local rate of job gain, 2.4 percent, compared to the 1.9-percent national increase. (All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Industry employment

Among the Richmond, VA, metropolitan area’s private-industry supersectors, only leisure and hospitality gained jobs (+7,000) over the year. (See chart 2.) The local area’s 10.8-percent increase compared to the 3.2-percent rise on a national level.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment release for January 2024 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics (CES) Data

Effective with the release of January 2024 estimates on March 11, 2024, nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas will be adjusted to 2023 benchmark levels. Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2022 and seasonally adjusted data beginning with January 2019 are subject to revision. Some data series may be revised as far back as 1990.

Also effective with the release of January 2024 estimates, the CES program will implement a new weight smoothing procedure for state and metropolitan area employment data. Background information on weight smoothing in the Current Employment Statistics Survey is available on the BLS website.

Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the CES program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More information about the CES data is available in the State Employment and Unemployment Summary and the Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary.

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2022 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. CES State and Area employment data are produced using several estimation procedures. Where possible these data are produced using a "weighted link relative" estimation technique in which a ratio of current-month weighted employment to that of the previous-month weighted employment is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are then obtained by multiplying these ratios by the previous month's employment estimates. The weighted link relative technique is utilized for data series where the sample size meets certain statistical criteria. For some employment series, the estimates are produced with a model that uses direct sample estimates (described above) combined with other regressors to compensate for smaller sample sizes.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports which are submitted by employers who are covered under state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months. Information on recent benchmark revisions is available in the CES State and Area benchmark article.

Reliability of the estimates. The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability—that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data also are subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the specific estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal totals shown in the same tables due to rounding.

Employment estimates. Changes in metropolitan area nonfarm payroll employment are cited in the analysis of this release only if they have been determined to be statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level. Reliability of state and area estimates for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this news release reflect the delineations issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on April 10, 2018.

The Richmond, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King William, Louisa, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex Counties and Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond cities in Virginia.

Additional information

State and area employment data from the CES program are available on the BLS website.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area,
not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)
Area Back
Dec 2022 to
Dec 2023(1)

United States

Total nonfarm

155,211 157,878 158,347 158,261 3,050 2.0

Mining and logging

626 648 642 641 15 2.4


7,796 8,249 8,173 8,059 263 3.4


12,957 12,922 12,953 12,981 24 0.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

29,481 28,973 29,407 29,653 172 0.6


3,112 2,989 3,015 3,030 -82 -2.6

Financial activities

9,174 9,244 9,239 9,266 92 1.0

Professional and business services

22,823 23,116 23,067 22,960 137 0.6

Education and health services

24,926 25,848 26,023 25,980 1,054 4.2

Leisure and hospitality

15,926 16,704 16,496 16,484 558 3.5

Other services

5,745 5,857 5,866 5,846 101 1.8


22,645 23,328 23,466 23,361 716 3.2

Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total Nonfarm

706.7 720.3 725.6 724.0 17.3 2.4

Mining, logging, & construction

41.2 41.3 41.6 40.8 -0.4 -1.0


32.8 32.2 32.0 32.2 -0.6 -1.8

Trade, transportation, & utilities

134.0 132.6 136.1 137.8 3.8 2.8


6.6 6.2 6.2 6.2 -0.4 -6.1

Financial activities

56.6 56.4 56.3 56.2 -0.4 -0.7

Professional & business services

125.2 128.8 128.9 129.5 4.3 3.4

Educational & health services

99.3 101.6 101.8 101.2 1.9 1.9

Leisure & hospitality

65.1 72.6 72.5 72.1 7.0 10.8

Other services

31.6 31.8 31.9 31.8 0.2 0.6


114.3 116.8 118.3 116.2 1.9 1.7

(1) State and regional data for the most recent month are preliminary; U.S. data are preliminary for two months.

SOURCE: Current Employment Statistics - National - State and Metropolitan Area


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2024