​​​​​​Workforce

Virginia Beach is a highly desirable location for the highly skilled, highly paid, high-tech workforce.

​Virginia is an employer-friendly state with a ​"Right to Work" labor structure. ​​

Virginia Beach is among the 40 largest cities in the U.S., with a population of 46​0,000 and a regional population of 1.7 million. 

While a low cost of doing business may be attractive, it is the highly skilled workforce, enhanced by thousands of military personnel and college or university graduates who enter the workforce on an annual basis, and multiple internationally renowned research and development centers that truly make Virginia Beach the best place to do business. ​

Young professionals are a key part of the community in Virginia Beach, not just because of the large military presence here, but also due to the excellent higher education system that exists. ​​

Over fifty percent of the City of Virginia Beach annual budget funds public education with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the key to establishing a continuous supply of a highly skilled emerging workforce. Based on the Department of Defense statistics, approximately 12,000 members of the military  are available to enter the local workforce each year, along with more than 18,000 graduating college students and 58,000 graduating high school students.

Virginia Beach's Workforce

Civilian Workforce Statistics

  Virginia Beach*MSA**
​Civilian workforce226,888852,900​
Employed 217,759815,500​
Unemployed9,12937,400
Unemployment rate3.9%4.4​%

Source:  *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016​ average), ​**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , Other MSAs​ , June 2017

​Virginia LMI Unemployment


Additional Workforce

Exiting active-duty military personnel 12,000 annually
Military spouses 30,000
New high school graduates5,000 annually
College graduates18,000 annually
Source:  2016 ​Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development

Virginia Beach City Employment by Sector

​industry sector​​employeespercentage
Retail trade (NAICS: 44-45)​25,82514.6%
Accommodation and food services
24,10513.6%
Health care and social assistance
​23,85513.5%
Educational services
​16,9129.5%
​Finance, insurance, information and real estate

​​16,060​

​9.1%
Professional, scientific and technical services
13,2967.5%
Construction​9,9565.6%
Public administration
7,631​4.3%
​Wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing​​​​6,629​3.7%
​​Other services​​6,069​3.4%

Manufacturing (NAICS: 31-33)​

​5,7093.2%
Arts, entertainment and recreation4,2082.3%