Regional Employment Improves Throughout 2021


In the early months of the pandemic, unemployment in the region and across the country exploded as businesses and other employers closed due safety concerns. Even as businesses began to reopen and vaccines and mask wearing helped slow the spread of COVID, employment in the state and region were slow to return to pre-pandemic levels. The regional unemployment rate reached pre-pandemic levels around the Fall of 2021, and in the final few months of the year improved past pre-pandemic levels.

Regional Unemployment Rate

In February and March of 2020, the unemployment rate for the Capital Region was 3.8% and 4.0% respectively. In April 2020, the first full month the pandemic set in, the unemployment rate exploded to 12.6%. While this did not necessarily mean that people had permanently lost their jobs, as many businesses furloughed employees, many businesses were forced to close permanently and cause people to lose their jobs. The unemployment rate would fluctuate but remain high, above 9.6%, through July 2020 where it reached 11.5%.

After July 2020, the unemployment rate dropped back down below 9% for the first time since the pandemic began. Between September 2020 and April 2021, the unemployment rate would fluctuate between 6% and 5%. After April 2021, the rate began to decline under 5% and back towards pre-pandemic levels. In December 2021 the most recently available month, the regional unemployment rate reached 2.5%, the lowest rate not only since the start of the pandemic, but the lowest rate of the past 10 years.

You can check out Employment data on our website here! CDRPC has Employment data for the state, region, and county level for the past 25 years.