The Labor Force

Since 2003, Chesapeake’s employment growth rate has been among the Top 50 nationally. The total number of employers has increased by more than double the national average. The number of workers has increased by more than 12 percent, and total wages have tripled the national average.

Chesapeake offers diverse skill sets, advanced training and education. Chesapeake Economic Development, along with other local and regional partners throughout the state, work closely with Virginia’s Workforce Development System to provide ongoing training, education and development resources to companies located here. Through state, regional and local efforts, Virginia has cultivated one of the nation’s most diverse and well-trained workforces.

The Stats

The city of Chesapeake’s Unemployment Rate is 4.1%

  • National: 4.4%
  • Virginia: 3.8%

Chesapeake’s local labor force is augmented annually by:

  • More than 17,000 exiting military personnel
  • 40,000 military spouses
  • More than 8,500 graduating college students

Source: BLS, August 2017

  • Top 10 in labor productivity

  • Ranked 7th in U.S. in prime working population at nearly 4.3 million

  • Half a million students enrolled in more than 93 in-state institutions of higher education

  • 25,000 doctoral scientists and engineers residing in the state – one of the highest concentrations in the country

Virginia Jobs Investment Program

Chesapeake and the state of Virginia are committed to helping companies offset training and recruitment expenses. Learn more about VJIP and see if your business is eligible.

Employment by Industry

Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Source: VEC, 1st Quarter 2017

More Data


Learn more about our top employers in the City.


Chesapeake has direct access to rail, air, waterways, and major highways.