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News Release Information

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Virginia Beach Area Employment — June 2021

Total nonfarm employment for the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area increased by 39,500 over the year in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the June increase marked three consecutive months of over-the-year job increases in the Virginia Beach metropolitan area. The local rate of job growth, 5.4 percent, compared to the 5.8-percent national increase. (The Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Industry employment

In the greater Virginia Beach area, leisure and hospitality had the largest gain (+16,100), with the accommodation and food services sector adding 12,100 jobs over the year. (See chart 2.) The 22.9-percent increase in Virginia Beach’s leisure and hospitality supersector compared to the 21.3-percent gain on a national level.

Trade, transportation, and utilities added 10,800 jobs over the year in the local area. Within the supersector, the retail trade sector added 6,200 jobs and the transportation and utilities sector added 3,900 jobs. The local area had an 8.9-percent gain; nationally, employment increased 5.1 percent.

Professional and business services gained 9,800 jobs locally. Within the supersector, employment in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector was up 6,800. Locally, the supersector had a 9.1-percent increase since June 2020 compared to 6.4 percent nationally.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment release for July 2021 is scheduled to be released on September 1, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on June 2021 Establishment Survey Data

BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the May final and June preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. For more information, see

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.

Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 2017 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 sample of establishments is very small or highly variable. In these cases, a model-based approach is used in estimation. These models use the direct sample estimates (described above), combined with forecasts of historical (benchmarked) data to decrease volatility in estimation. Two different models (Fay-Herriot Model and Small Domain Model) are used depending on the industry level being estimated. For more detailed information about each model, refer to the BLS Handbook of Methods at

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.

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 the totals shown in the same tables because of 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. Measures of sampling error for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions at Measures of sampling error for more detailed series at the area and division level are available upon request. Measures of sampling error for states at the supersector level and for the private service-providing, goods-producing, total private and total nonfarm levels are available on the BLS website at Information on recent benchmark revisions is available online at

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 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York Counties and Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg cities in Virginia and Currituck County in North Carolina.

Additional information

Employment data from the CES program are available on the BLS website at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and the Virginia Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area,
not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)
Area Back
Jun 2020 to
Jun 2021

United States

Total nonfarm

138,501 144,397 (p)145,369 (p)146,517 (p)8,016 (p)5.8

Mining and logging

600 612 (p)618 (p)633 (p)33 (p)5.5


7,359 7,365 (p)7,477 (p)7,592 (p)233 (p)3.2


12,069 12,226 (p)12,282 (p)12,389 (p)320 (p)2.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

25,930 26,845 (p)27,019 (p)27,263 (p)1,333 (p)5.1


2,606 2,695 (p)2,716 (p)2,743 (p)137 (p)5.3

Financial activities

8,675 8,770 (p)8,781 (p)8,840 (p)165 (p)1.9

Professional and business services

19,683 20,710 (p)20,765 (p)20,946 (p)1,263 (p)6.4

Education and health services

22,491 23,597 (p)23,538 (p)23,355 (p)864 (p)3.8

Leisure and hospitality

12,637 14,020 (p)14,611 (p)15,329 (p)2,692 (p)21.3

Other services

5,217 5,567 (p)5,604 (p)5,710 (p)493 (p)9.4


21,234 21,990 (p)21,958 (p)21,717 (p)483 (p)2.3

Virginia Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total nonfarm

733.5 760.6 763.0 (p)773.0 (p)39.5 (p)5.4

Mining, logging, and construction

39.1 39.7 40.1 (p)40.5 (p)1.4 (p)3.6


56.0 55.9 55.9 (p)56.2 (p)0.2 (p)0.4

Trade, transportation, and utilities

121.4 129.5 130.8 (p)132.2 (p)10.8 (p)8.9


9.0 9.2 9.1 (p)9.1 (p)0.1 (p)1.1

Financial activities

38.6 38.5 38.3 (p)38.6 (p)0.0 (p)0.0

Professional and business services

107.8 114.3 116.4 (p)117.6 (p)9.8 (p)9.1

Education and health services

105.5 106.9 104.5 (p)104.6 (p)-0.9 (p)-0.9

Leisure and hospitality

70.2 78.7 81.9 (p)86.3 (p)16.1 (p)22.9

Other services

30.5 32.0 32.2 (p)32.6 (p)2.1 (p)6.9


155.4 155.9 153.8 (p)155.3 (p)-0.1 (p)-0.1

(p) Preliminary

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


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2021