There are more people employed in the Charlottesville-Albemarle County region now than there were at this time last year. That's just part of information released in the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual jobs report Tuesday.
There are more than 1,700 new jobs around the region over this time last year. This is also the first time since 2007 we've seen a positive net change in employment.
Timothy Hulbert with the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce said, "The region is back, we're still below pre-recession employment levels, but we're on the upswing."
This is some of the first positive regional job news in years. "Overall, good news for the region," said Chris Engel with Charlottesville Economic Development.
"We're very optimistic," said Susan Stimart with Albemarle County Economic Development. "Things are going well for the community, and for our business community in particular."
Businesses created more than 1,700 new jobs since the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce released its annual jobs report this time last year. In the past 11 years, the region has added more than 11,000 new jobs. The University of Virginia accounts for more than 97 percent of those jobs.
"The university is the leading economic engine in our region," Hulbert said. "As it moves forward and does better, so does this whole region."
But despite the optimism, the news isn't all rosy for the city of Charlottesville. There were more than 3,300 jobs lost in Charlottesville since 2000.
Engel said, "Developers are looking at it and saying, ‘I can get a decent return for creating a residential product versus an industrial or a business product.'"
"Those companies obviously see this as a great location for business, and their employees enjoy it, and we're experiencing success," said Engel.
There is more work to be done, but everyone we spoke to is optimistic. Last year, the chamber of commerce correctly predicted the amount of job growth we would see in 2011. This year, they're forecasting even bigger growth of 2,000 to 3,000 new regional jobs in 2012.
Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Press Release
(Charlottesville, Virginia – August 28) The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, in advance of Labor Day, at a Chamber Large Employer Round Table meeting, released its "2012 Chamber Jobs Report," the Chamber's ninth annual comprehensive compilation and analysis of employment in Greater Charlottesville.
Greater Charlottesville's job-producing engines added 1,777 net jobs (+966 in private enterprise; +811 in government) in 2011 over 2010. The jobs picture is an improvement over the previous three years. The region's total net jobs dropped over the course of 2008 and 2009, losing 4,062 net jobs over those two years (-622 in 2008; -3,440 in 2009) and only added a net +11 jobs in 2010. Despite the job growth that occurred in 2011, however, overall employment in the Greater Charlottesville Region in 2011 was still some 2.0% below pre-recession levels (2,269 jobs), with all of the losses attributable within private enterprise.
Overall, over the 11-year study period the Chamber Jobs Report data illustrate total jobs in the Greater Charlottesville region growing from 100,708 jobs in 2000 to 111,885 jobs in 2011, an increase of +11.1% or 11,147 jobs – for an average annual growth rate of +0.96%. In the period, the region has added a net gain of 5,382 (+7.4% / +0.65%/year) jobs in private enterprise and 5,765 (+20.6% / +1.74%/year) in government jobs.
"The Chamber Jobs Report – 2012, Report & Analysis: Employment in the Greater Charlottesville Region, 2000-2011" is underwritten by three Chamber member enterprises – Adams & Garth Staffing, the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, and Wells Fargo. The 11-year jobs study project, was conducted for the Chamber Economic Government Affairs Committee by Kevin Decker, of Decker Economics, an independent economist using the official employment database of the Virginia Employment Commission. Chamber President Timothy Hulbert coordinated the project. The 2012 Chamber Jobs Report can be accessed at the Chamber web site: http://www.cvillechamber.com/.
"The 2012 Chamber Jobs Report is upbeat and very encouraging," said Patricia L. Cluff, Associate Vice President at the University of Virginia Health System, who serves as the 2012 Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors. "The Report confirms that some recovery from the ‘Great Recession' is underway. This Report provides a real service to help us all keep a focus on business, civic and public policy thinking about jobs – their creation, retention, and enhancement – every day. Building on our jobs base has to remain our top regional priority."
"The 2012 Chamber Jobs Report shows our region on the jobs rebound and suggests that the jobs rebound is continuing," said Rondi Furgason, General Manager and Vice President for CenturyLink, Co-Chair of the Chamber Large Employer Round Table. Joseph Raichel, Charlottesville Bank President of Wells Fargo and the other Chamber Round Table Co-Chair added, "I am very pleased that our region's employers have added more than 1,700 jobs over the last year. And we look for that trend to continue over 2012 and beyond."
The 2012 Chamber Jobs Report reveals changing job patterns within the region: overall job growth in private enterprise from 2000 – 2011; a decline in private enterprise jobs from 2000 – 2003; a rebound in private enterprise job growth from 2003 – 2007; total and private enterprise job loss in 2008 and 2009, negligible change in 2010, a total job growth rebound in 2011; and, annual growth in government jobs (federal; state – principally the University of Virginia; city, county, district administrative and schools, etc.).
The Chamber Jobs Report showed that over the study period, private enterprise job growth in Greater Charlottesville (+7.4%) outpaced private enterprise job growth in the rest of Virginia (+2.3%). Greater Charlottesville outpaced the rest of Virginia in job performance in eight (8) of ten (10) industry sectors (the "Manufacturing," and "Education & Health Services" NAICS codes lagged behind the sectors' performance in the Commonwealth).
The Report further reveals growth in most types of jobs. Over the period, Education & Health Services, Professional & Business Services, and Leisure & Hospitality are the three leading percentage job gain areas. Among private enterprise employment sectors:
Trade, Transportation & Utilities hold the largest segment of jobs, 17,790 or 22.7%;
Leisure & Hospitality is second with 12,878 jobs or 16.4%;
Professional & Business Services is third with 12,320 jobs or 15.7%;
Education and Health Services is fourth with 12,122 jobs or 15.4%; and,
Construction is fifth with 5,818 jobs or 7.4%.
Manufacturing, the region's second largest employment sector in 2000 (10,006 jobs or 13.7%), has lost a net total of 4,574 jobs (or -45.7%) since. Manufacturing now accounts for only 6.9% (5,432) of the region's private sector jobs. Two other troubling jobs areas are: private enterprise Information employment, which lost -717 jobs (-25%); and Construction, which lost -955 jobs (-14.1%) over the decade.
The Report confirms that Albemarle County, with the University of Virginia, the region's leading employment engine, far and away, serves as the leading location of the region's job growth with +10,886 net added jobs (+28%); 97.7% of the total job growth (+11,147 jobs) added in the region since 2000. Conversely, since 2000, the City of Charlottesville has witnessed a net decrease of 3,383 jobs (-8.9%).
Early and incomplete employment indicators suggest that the jobs rebound has continued during the first six months of 2012 as the region's unemployment rate has stayed below national and Virginia levels. The Report indicates that 2012 jobs growth within the Greater Charlottesville region could be +/-2.5-3%.
After the 2012Chamber Jobs Report was presented by Chamber President Timothy Hulbert at the Chamber Large Employer Round Table, a "round table" discussion was held. That discussion was led by:
Lee Witherow, President of Adams & Garth Staffing, a Chamber Jobs Report underwriter;
Helen Cauthen, President of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, a Chamber Jobs Report underwriter;
Rondi Furgason, CenturyLink Vice President & General Manager, Co-Chairwoman of the Chamber Large Employer Round Table;
Joseph Raichel, Charlottesville Bank President of Wells Fargo, Co-Chairman of the Chamber Large Employer Round Table and a Chamber Jobs Report underwriter; and,
Carolyn Shears, Senior Vice President, CBRE, an underwriter of the Chamber LERT Breakfast.
The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities. Founded in 1913, today Chamber member enterprises employ more than 45,000 men and women in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.