The current unemployment rate in the Prince George and Hopewell Region is a concern for the Prince George and Hopewell Chamber of Commerce. There are several barriers to employment according to the literature, however we focused on job demands, transportation, education levels, and skills required for employment. Using data from the American Community Survey, Virginia Employment Commission and Jobs EQ for Workforce, the project used exploratory data analysis tools to visualize the distribution of unemployment, taking into account job demands, transportation, education levels and skills required. In addition, we explored the demand of labor and occupational gaps in the area. It seems that the job openings are unequally distributed in the area. For instance, it looks like most currently available jobs are available closer to the densely populated area and have a more diverse industry for employment. Whereas the sparsely populated area may have a higher travel time to work. This indicates that residents need to have means of transportation to get to current job opening locations. We compared the education level requirements of current job posting to the current education level of the unemployed. For example, in Hopewell, there are 318 people that are collecting unemployment benefits with a high school diploma or higher and there are about 400 job ads that require one. This indicates there may be enough jobs available based on education, but they may need additional skills to obtain employment. It seems that 40- 50% of the current job postings for each area require hard cognitive skills such as Cash Handling and Microsoft skills. Whereas it seems that 35% of the current job opening ads require physical skills to lift 50lbs or more. The next steps would be to explore the skills sets that the unemployed have. In addition, we would do statistical analysis to estimate the relationship between unemployment and the different barriers to employment.

Zoom Link



John Wright

Virginia State University




JaiDa Robinson

Virginia State University