Historically, the Richmond Region has enjoyed low levels of unemployment. In 2010, due to the recession, unemployment rates rose to uncharacteristically high levels, reaching nearly 8 percent. In recent years, the rates have dropped and remain at or below the national average, though pandemic conditions have affected these figures.

Richmond MSA Virginia USA
Civilian Labor Force 665,116 4,259,711 160,008,000
Employed 631,884 4,061,181 149,522,000
Unemployed 33,232 198,530 10,486,000
Unemployment Rate (%) 5.0 4.7 6.6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2020/February 2021, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Educational Attainment

According to 2019 American Community Survey data, 90 percent of the Richmond MSA population over age 25 has at least a high school education, compared to 89 percent nationally. The Richmond Region compares favorably in higher education, with many residents holding at least a Bachelor’s degree.

Highest Level Attained Richmond MSA (total #) Richmond MSA (% of total) Virginia (% of total) U.S. (% of total)
Less than High School Diploma 89,419 9.9% 10.0% 11.4%
High School or GED 229,572 25.5% 23.6% 26.9%
Some College, No Degree 179,790 19.9% 18.9% 20.0%
Associate Degree 64,050 7.1% 8.0% 8.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 206,470 22.9% 22.4% 20.3%
Graduate or Professional Degree 131,964 14.6% 17.2% 12.8%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2019 American Community Survey.