Unemployment rates in WV drop below national average

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Governor Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped for the sixth consecutive month.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped more than two percentage points in October, leading to the state’s 6.4% rate.

“Before the pandemic hit, we were churning out the best unemployment rates and total job numbers that West Virginia had seen in over a decade. There’s no doubt that the pandemic was like a cannonball to the stomach. But I’m encouraged to see that, month after month, our job numbers continue to improve and are trending back toward where they were before. But we won’t stop there, we want to continue to get better and better,” said WV Governor Jim Justice.

The national unemployment rate decreased to 6.9% in October, after record-high rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means West Virginia’s job rate is currently better than the national average.

“West Virginia has now had a better unemployment rate than the national average for four of the last six months. Everyone needs to realize that West Virginia’s economy is thriving and doing terrific, especially considering that we have the lowest severance tax percentage, relative to our revenue, that we’ve had in decades. We’ve diversified our state in many ways, but, at the same time, we are not going to forget our coal miners and our gas workers,” said Gov. Justice.

Seasonal adjustments have been made to unemployment rates as the holiday season approaches. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses seasonal adjustments to make it easier to observe the underlying trends and other nonseasonal movements in the series.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate that is not seasonally adjusted decreased over two percentage points to 5.7% this October. 

“Even as tough as this year has been in a lot of ways, we still have new businesses deciding to locate in West Virginia and people are moving here because we’re telling our story, and the outside world is finally realizing that West Virginia is the diamond in the rough that they all missed. We are truly on the move and I’m excited to see the new heights we can reach,” said Gov. Justice.

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