Unemployment rates dropped slightly last month in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
But the rates in Maryland and the District continued to exceed the national average, which fell from 4% in January to 3.8% in February.
During that same period, Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.7% to 3.2%, Maryland’s rate dropped from 5.4% to 5%, and the District’s rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.1%.
Altogether, 31 states and Washington saw unemployment rates drop from January to February.
The District’s unemployment rate was higher than all states, followed by New Mexico (5.6%), Alaska (5.4%), California (5.4%), Pennsylvania (5.1%), Nevada (5.1%) and Maryland.
Nebraska and Utah both had a 2.1% unemployment rate, tied for the nation’s lowest.
Virginia’s total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 21,300 jobs last month.
However, the commonwealth’s labor participation rate lagged, with the share of Virginians older than 16 who are employed or actively looking for work rising only slightly by 0.1%, to 63% last month.
“Although we see an uptick in the labor force participation, my administration is laser-focused on continually increasing our labor participation rate,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, said in a statement.
Altogether, the number of employed Virginia residents rose by 17,468 to 4,155,986 last month, while the number of unemployed residents decreased by 3,330 to 136,004.
More than 2.7 million Marylanders were working last month, up from 2.684 million in January.
The report said 762,000 District residents were working last month, up from 726,600 a year ago.