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Regional economy slows with drop in jobs

Hampton Roads lost 4,100 jobs between December 2013 and January 2014, said a March 21 report by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

Referencing monthly employment estimates for the nation’s metropolitan areas, chief economist Greg Grootendorst and senior economist James Clary said in a special report that the drop in local jobs was the largest monthly decline in regional employment since April 2009.

“Initially, the Hampton Roads economy appeared to have started the same recovery path as the U.S. and Virginia,” Grootendorst and Clary said, “but the revised data indicates that the recovery has stalled in both Virginia and Hampton Roads.”

Although overall jobs were in decline, the report said, some industry employment estimates increased in recent months. One of these was retail trade, whose employment was revised upward by 3,200 in December to a total employment in this region of 90,500. Scientific and technical services also experienced a sig...

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