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Jobless rates drop locally
City rate still state's highest

Thursday, February 6, 2014

By FROM BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -

Martinsville’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in December but remained the highest in the state, according to data released by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).

Henry and Patrick counties also showed slight decreases in their jobless rates.

The city’s unemployment rate of 12.4 percent in December was a 1.1 percent decrease from November’s 13.5 percent unemployment rate, according to data from the VEC. The city’s unemployment rate was 15.7 percent in December 2012.

Of the 5,259 people in the labor force in Martinsville, 4,607 were employed and 652 were jobless, according to VEC data. The labor force includes those who are employed and those seeking work.

Henry County was ranked 27th out of 134 localities in the December unemployment ranking. According to the VEC, 7.2 percent of the county’s workforce was unemployed — a slight drop from the 7.4 percent in November and less than the 9.5 percent in December 2012.

In Henry County’s labor force of 23,194 people, VEC data showed that 1,659 were jobless and 21,535 were employed in December.

With a 0.3 percent decrease, Patrick County’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in December. That was down from 6.1 percent in November and 7.9 percent in December 2012, data showed.

A total of 483 people in Patrick County’s 8,302-person labor force were jobless, with 7,819 working, according to the data.

In the state ranking, Martinsville was trailed by the city of Williamsburg, which had a 10.5 percent unemployment rate in December; Emporia, 9.9 percent; and Page County and the cities of Lexington and Covington, 9.0 percent each, data showed.

Virginia came in 12th place in the ranking of states, with a 4.8 percent unemployment rate in December. That compared with 5.0 percent last month and 5.5 percent in December 2012, according to the VEC.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage point in December to 5.2 percent and was 0.4 percentage point below a year ago. After remaining unchanged in October, the drop in the unemployment rate in November and December continued the downward movement that began in September. As a result, the unemployment rate dropped to the April 2013 low of 5.2 percent, the VEC reported.

The state’s civilian labor force of 4,206,533 expanded by 6,198 people in December after contracting the two previous months, as 14,818 additional people reported working and the number of unemployed fell by 8,620, data showed.

Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued below the December national rate of 6.7 percent, which was down 0.3 percentage point from November, and down 1.2 percentage points from last December, according to the VEC.

Arlington County had the lowest unemployment rate, with 3.1 percent in December, data showed.

 

 
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