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Job rate down, but still tops in Virginia
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Although there was a slight decrease, Martinsville’s jobless rate remained the highest in Virginia in August.
The Virginia Employment Commission said Wednesday the city’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 15.9 percent, down from 16.4 percent in July and 20.2 percent a year ago, according to The Associated Press.
Martinsville’s jobless rate was the highest among the 134 localities in Virginia, according to VEC data. That has been the case for most of the past decade.
The statistical reference week was Aug. 12 to 18, according to the VEC.
Henry County’s jobless rate also saw a slight decrease, but Patrick County’s rate rose sharply, data showed.
In Henry County, the unemployment rate fell to 10.1 in August, down slightly from 10.3 in July.
Patrick County’s rate increased to 8.9 percent in August from 7.7 percent in July, according to the VEC.
Fluctuations in the area labor force — the total number of people who have jobs plus those looking for work — affect monthly jobless rates.
In Martinsville, 878 people out of a total labor force of 5,526 were unemployed in August.
In Henry County, 2,421 of a total workforce of 23,883 were unemployed, data showed.
From a total workforce of 9,192 in Patrick County, 817 people were jobless, according to the VEC.
Other cities among the 10 with the highest unemployment included Williamsburg, 12.7 percent; Emporia, 12.2 percent, and Petersburg, 11.3 percent, the data showed.
Halifax County’s rate was identical to Henry County’s rate, data showed. Mecklenburg County was slightly higher, at 10.3 percent.
Arlington County had Virginia’s lowest jobless rate with 3.5 percent in August, followed by 4.0 percent in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, the AP reported.
The Danville region had the highest unemployment rate among Virginia’s metropolitan regions at 8.6 percent, according to the AP. The Washington metropolitan region that includes Arlington and Alexandria had the lowest jobless rate of 4.3 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate for August was 5.8 percent, according to the VEC.
Nationally, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for August was 8.2 percent. Rates dropped from last year in 325 metropolitan areas, increased in 40 and were flat in seven.