Workforce

HIGHLY SKILLED LABOR FORCE

Department of Defense spending supports 40 percent of total regional employment. More than 7,000 service members transition out of the military annually in the Hampton Roads region, providing the city with a renewable, highly skilled labor force.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE

Norfolk has a foundation of higher education institutions that can support a workforce development pipeline. Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Tidewater Community College provide a diverse set of programs that can equip Norfolk residents with the skills they need to engage in growing and emerging industries.

CONCENTRATION OF HIGH WAGE JOBS

Norfolk’s status as a hub for industries, like professional services and finance, is reflected in an average wage of $50,926. This is higher than the Hampton Roads region and slightly higher than the Commonwealth and the nation.

HIGHEST JOB DENSITY

With 4,548 jobs per square mile, Norfolk also has the highest job density in the region.

REGION’S JOB CENTER

191,212 of the MSA’s jobs are located in Norfolk,the most of any city in the region.

Labor Force and Unemployment 

With a regional labor force of over 800,000, Norfolk is a center of commerce within the metro, with the greatest concentration of jobs per square mile. In addition to a robust local talent base, the city is a magnet for commuters from throughout the metropolitan area. Additionally, the area receives between 7,000 and 8,000 military exits annually, many of whom are highly-skilled workers who contribute to the labor market. Regarding new and upcoming talent, there are over 72,000 full-time students enrolled in university and community colleges in the metropolitan area, and half of these students attend a Norfolk institution of higher learning.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Labor Force Data by County, 2018 Annual Averages

Employment by Industry and Occupation

The subsequent data is for the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Since Norfolk operates within a regional labor market, and new businesses or companies would attract labor from numerous cities in the MSA, not just Norfolk, the employment by industry and employment by occupation data is supplied at the MSA level. The top five industries in MSA by number of employees are Government, Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services, and Manufacturing. The number one Industry, Government, accounts for over 28% of all employees in the MSA.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI) and Virginia Employment Commission, Economic Information Services

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI) and Virginia Employment Commission, Economic Information Services

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Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI) and Virginia Employment Commission, Economic Information Services