Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Jobless rate in city No. 1
Thursday, May 29, 2014
From Bulletin staff reports
Martinsville’s jobless rate dropped slightly in April but remained the state’s highest at 11.2 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Henry County’s rate dropped to 7.5 percent in April from 8.3 percent in March, while Patrick County’s rate was down half a percent, to 5.8 percent.
VEC statistics showed 588 jobless city residents in April, down from 611 in March and 671 in April of last year.
The jobless rate dropped from 11.6 percent in March to 11.2 percent in April. Both were down from 12.5 percent in April 2013.
There were 5,238 people counted last month in the city’s labor force, which includes employed people and those seeking jobs. That was a decline from 5,262 in March and 5,389 in April 2013.
Officials have said that a shrinking labor force can indicate that people are leaving the area or have given up looking for work.
There were 1,713 jobless Henry County residents last month, down from 1,908 in March and 2,215 in April of last year, VEC data showed. The county’s labor force included 22,855 workers, down from 23,053 in March and 23,664 in April 2013.
The county’s jobless rate of 7.5 percent in April was the 20th highest of the state’s 134 localities. It improved from 9.4 percent in April of last year and 8.3 percent in March.
Patrick County’s numbers showed improvement. The VEC counted 480 jobless workers in April, down from 522 in March and 615 in April 2013. Patrick’s labor force grew from 8,243 in March to 8,315 in April. That was close to the April 2013 figure of 8,325.
Patrick County’s jobless rate has dropped from 7.4 percent in April of last year to 6.3 percent in March to 5.8 percent in April. The April rate was the state’s 48th highest.
The Martinsville micropolitan area, which includes Henry County and Martinsville, showed an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in April, down from 8.9 percent in March and 9.9 percent in April 2013. The VEC counted 28,093 workers in the combined labor force, down from 28,315 in March and 29,053 in April of last year.
The number of jobless workers also declined, from 2,886 in April 2013 to 2,519 in March and 2,301 last month.
All of the local rates were higher than the statewide jobless rate in April, which was 4.7 percent. Arlington County and the city of Falls Church tied for the state’s lowest unemployment rate last month at 3.2 percent, the VEC reported.