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Low employment figures seen in region

Hampton Roads’ non-farm, civilian payroll employment estimates have been coming in very low since early this year, a regional economic report said.

Since February 2017, payroll employment data suggests regional employment fell by 11,800 positions (-1.52 percent), said Greg Grootendorst, chief economist for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. “This is notable because regional employment generally does not decline to such an extent outside the context of a national recession,” Grootendorst said in “Hampton Roads Economic Monthly,” a commission report.

“The region has underperformed the state and nation throughout the recovery, whereas, had Hampton Roads experienced similar employment growth to the state, the region would have an additional 54,000 jobs,” he said. “These extremely low employment figures are troubling.”

The report said that “while the payroll employment numbers are low, the more recent declines seem ...

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