West Virginia jobless rate decreases amid reopenings

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — West Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 12.9% last month, buoyed by business reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s jobless dropped 2.1 percentage points in May as nonfarm employment rose 13,300 and a wave of businesses got the go-ahead from Gov. Jim Justice to resume operations.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed state residents fell by 23,400 in May, but the overall number remains high at 100,400.

More than 250,000 unemployment claims have been processed in West Virginia since the pandemic forced widespread shutdowns in March.

West Virginia added 8,800 jobs last month in the leisure and hospitality industries. 

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