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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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City jobless rate at 21.6 percent
Thursday, March 18, 2010
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
Martinsville's official unemployment rate increased to 21.6 percent in January, according to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
The VEC released the January jobless rates on Wednesday. Martinsville's December 2009 rate of 20.3 percent increased to 21.6 percent in January, and it remains the highest in the state, the VEC stated.
It is not a record. In July 2009, the city's unemployment rate hit 22.1 percent; in May of that year it was 21.9 percent, according to Bulletin reports.
Henry County's unemployment rate for January was 15.5 percent, up from 14.1 percent in December 2009. The county's 15.5 percent rate is the third highest unemployment rate in the state for January. According to VEC statistics, Williamsburg had the second highest rate with 18.2 percent unemployment.
Patrick County's rate also rose in January, to 12.8 percent from 11.4 percent in December, said Ann Lang, senior economist for the VEC's Economic Information Services Division. Patrick was tied with Grayson and Mecklenburg counties at the 11th highest unemployment in the state, according to VEC statistics.
The number of unemployed city residents rose to 1,289 in January, compared with 1,228 in December, Lang said. In January 2009, the city's unemployment rate was 18.1 percent.
Henry County's unemployment rate in January 2009 was 13.1 percent, according to VEC statistics. In January there were 3,827 jobless county residents, compared with 3,543 out of work in December.
The total number of jobless residents in the Martinsville-Henry County micropolitan area rose from 4,771 in December to 5,116 in January, Lang said. The unemployment rate for the micropolitan area rose from 15.3 percent in December to 16.7 percent in January.
VEC statistics showed that in January 2009, the unemployment was 14.1 percent for Martinsville-Henry County's micropolitan area.
According to Lang, there were 1,148 jobless residents in Patrick County in January, compared with 1,022 jobless residents in December. Patrick County's unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in January 2009.
The total number of employed Martinsville-Henry County micropolitan residents dropped to 25,606 in January from 26,440 in December, Lang said. The labor force, or sum of employed workers and people seeking work in Henry County-Martinsville, was 30,722 in January compared with 31,211 people in December.
Virginia's unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in December. According to the VEC, that was below the national rate of 10.4 percent.
Arlington County had the state's lowest unemployment rate in January at 4.6 percent, a slight increase from December, when it was also the lowest at 4.0 percent, said Lang.