With an excellent highway system and an area commute averaging 25 minutes for as many miles, companies in the Gateway Region have access to a labor force of more than 720,000. This workforce pool is well-prepared and sourced from the entire Richmond MSA, parts of the Hampton Roads MSA and graduates from universities/colleges around Virginia. The diverse economy and strong employer base create a stable economic and workforce environment locally relative to the nation as a whole. Wages are lower than the national average, and continue to grow, assisted by investment from new and existing businesses, resulting in 12.6% employment growth (23,000 people) since 2011.
Labor Force Summary
|Community||Civilian Labor Force||Unemployment Rate|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chmura Analytics, preliminary March 2017, not seasonally adjusted; latest data as of May 2017.
The region’s unemployment rate has not exceeded national rates (green line) in recent memory. As of December 2016, it stands at 4.3% and falling toward pre-2008 recession levels..
Graduates Entering the Workforce
|Area||2-Year Degrees||4-Year Degrees||Post-Grad||Total Higher Ed|
|Workforce Draw Area||6,288||10,293||3,880||20,461|
Source: Chmura Analytics, 2014-2015 academic year; latest data as of May 2017.
Employment by Industry, Gateway Region
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chmura Analytics, Q3 2016 (4Q moving average); latest data as of December 2016
Top Industries Employment & Wages
|Industry (NAICS)||Workforce Area Employment||Avg Wages||National Avg Annual Wages|
|Wholesale Trade (42)||26,460||$63,884||$72,678|
|Retail Trade (44)||81,661||$27,418||$30,555|
|Transportation and Warehousing (48)||31,853||$42,006||$52,366|
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (54)||46,587||$75,624||$87,117|
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (56)||50,725||$34,802||$37,056|
|Health Care and Social Assistance (62)||105,395||$47,861||$48,688|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chmura Analytics, Q4 2016; latest data as of May 2017.
Annual Exiting Military in Workforce Draw Area
|Occupation (Standard Occupation Code)||Average Annual Exits|
|Stock Clerks and Order Fillers (43-5081)||53|
|Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria (35-2012)||45|
|Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers (49-1011)||40|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics (49-3023)||33|
|Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians (49-3011)||29|
|Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers (53-7072)||24|
|Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer (53-3032)||21|
|Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics (29-2041)||18|
|HR Assistants, Except Payroll & Timekeeping (43-4161)||17|
|Personal Care and Service Workers, All Other (39-9099)||15|
|Installation, Maintenance & Repair Workers (49-9099)||15|
|Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters (47-5031)||14|
|Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers (33-3051)||13|
|Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines (49-3042)||11|
|Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers (11-3071)||8|
|Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers (49-2021)||7|
|Interpreters and Translators (27-3091)||4|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics (49-9041)||4|
|Communications Equipment Operators, All Other (43-2099)||3|
|Total, Including All other||651|
Sources: U.S. Department of Defense; Chmura Analytics, Fiscal Year 2016; latest data as of May 2017.
Unions have a minimal presence and impact in the region. Click here to download a record of presence and activity.