Workforce Profile

Workforce Draw AreaWith 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
Chesterfield 182,781 3.9%
Colonial Heights 8,956 4.4%
Dinwiddie 13,614 4.7%
Hopewell 9,818 6.3%
Petersburg 13,826 6.9%
Prince George 15,157 4.8%
Surry 3,749 4.7%
Sussex 4,096 6.1%
Gateway Region 251,997 4.3%
Virginia 4,247,294 4.1%
United States   4.7%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, preliminary October 2016, not seasonally adjusted; latest data as of December 2016

Unemployment Rate

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
Gateway Region 2,556 885 180 3,621
Workforce Draw Area 6,288 10,293 3,880 20,461

Source: Chmura Analytics, 2014-2015 academic year; latest data as of December 2016

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 Wages
Manufacturing (31) 39,024 $59.964 $64,442
Wholesale Trade (42) 26,838 $63,888 $73,592
Retail Trade (44) 76,516 $27,247 $30,336
Transportation and Warehousing (48) 30,658 $42,376 $52,637
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (54) 46,521 $76,327 $88,161
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (56) 51,295 $34,390 $37,118
Health Care and Social Assistance (62) 105,505 $47,310 $48,578

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chmura Analytics, Q3 2016; latest data as of December 2016

Annual Exiting Military in Workforce Draw Area

Occupation (Standard Occupation Code) Average Annual Exits
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers (43-5081) 55
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria (35-2012) 44
Logisticians (13-1081) 41
Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers (53-7072) 35
Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers (49-1011) 29
HR Assistants, Except Payroll & Timekeeping (43-4161) 27
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters 23
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics (49-3023) 21
Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer (53-3032) 19
Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers 19
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics (29-2041) 17
Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines 17
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers (33-3051) 16
Personal Care and Service Workers, All Other (39-9099) 14
Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians (49-3011) 16
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other (43-2099) 14
Installation, Maintenance & Repair Workers (49-9099) 9
Interpreters and Translators (27-3091) 4
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers (11-3071) 4
Industrial Machinery Mechanics (49-9041) 3
Total, Including All other 656

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense; Chmura Analytics, 2014; latest data as of December 2016

Union Activity

Unions have a minimal presence and impact in the region. Click here to download a record of presence and activity.