HARRISONBURG — The Harrisonburg metro area’s unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent in March.
Figures released Thursday by the Virginia Employment Commission peg the jobless rate in the metro area, which includes the city and Rockingham County, at 4.9 percent. In February, the rate was 5.4 percent.
The metro area’s jobless figure had dipped as low as 5.1 percent in December, before ticking upward the next two months. March’s sub-5 percent rate is the lowest combined city-county unemployment number since December 2008, when it was 4.4 percent.
Local rates dropped across the board in the central Shenandoah Valley from February to March, matching state and national trends.
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March, down from 7.7 percent in February. Virginia’s adjusted rate dipped from 5.6 percent in February to 5.3 percent in March.
Local rates aren’t adjusted to account for seasonal factors.
In the city of Harrisonburg, the jobless level dropped 0.4 percent month-over-month to 5.7 percent in March.
Rockingham County’s rate fell to 4.5 percent in March, a difference of 0.5 percent compared to February.
Page County’s perennially high unemployment rate saw the most dramatic change in the area, falling from 11.2 in February to 9.2 percent in March.
Shenandoah County experienced a drop of 0.6 percent to 5.8 percent.
Augusta County’s rate dropped by the same amount to 4.8 percent.