RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent in August as the state’s labor force expanded to 4,247,321.

Click here to subscribe to WAVY’s breaking news email alerts

Data also shows that the number of employed residents rose to 4,078,806, an increase of 13,228.

“Virginia’s economic recovery continues to outpace the nation,” said Governor Northam. “Our unemployment rate remains well below the national average and has fallen consistently every month for the past fifteen months. More people are working and businesses are continuing to flock to our Commonwealth—even with the ongoing threat of COVID-19. I’m proud of our roaring economic growth, and I look forward to seeing these trends continue.”

Year-over-year, the Commonwealth saw job gains of 2.2%, which is lower than what was reported last month. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 5.2 percent.

“This month’s declining unemployment rate is made possible through the hard work and determination of Virginia’s workers and employers, who are the true champions of economic recovery in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy.“While we have more work to do, we can all be proud of how far we’ve come.”

Officials say that private sector employment increased by 1,500 jobs to 3,208,700, and employment in the public sector gained 9,000 jobs to 704,500. Meanwhile, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 10,500 jobs in August.

The leisure and hospitality industry saw an increase of 37,100 jobs or 12%, the largest over-the-year job gain.