Virginia's goal is to be a national leader in the preservation and enhancement of our economy. The quality of Virginia's economy directly affects businesses, citizens, and institutions. Highlights of Virginia's economy include:
- Virginia's unemployment rate remains lower than the national average (and did so even during the depths of the Great Recession).
- Virginia ranks 11th nationally for per capita personal income, and after a long period of stagnation, incomes have again begun to rise.
- After several years of very slow growth, job growth in the Commonwealth was over 2 percent in 2015, higher than the national average.
- Although regions of the state differ -- sometimes significantly -- in their prosperity and levels of educational attainment, Virginia is making a concerted new effort to improve the skills and competitiveness of its workforce statewide.
- Over 11 percent of Virginians live below federal poverty levels.
- Every economy thrives on diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Although Virginia lags many states in its economic diversity, efforts are underway to address what has been an over-reliance on certain sectors. And many Virginia characteristics -- including proximity to the federal government, a skilled workforce, and numerous high-tech / high-growth firms -- create a positive environment for entrepreuneurial activities.
The economic indicators help to assess the progress we are making, understand the key elements that influence performance, and clarify the role the Commonwealth is taking to improve the economic quality of life.