Unemployment rates continue to rise

fayette tribune-More than 90 percent of West Virginia’s counties saw their unemployment rate jump in October, including the job-rich Eastern Panhandle. While southern West Virginia continue to hemorrhage jobs, in the rest of the state only Grant County saw a decrease and Wetzel County saw no change in October from September, WorkForce West Virginia unemployment data released Tuesday shows. Unemployment rates continue to rise Regionally, Wyoming County continued to have the highest jobless rate at 8.3 percent, the fourth highest in the state. The county, hit hard by coal’s decline, inched up from 8.1 percent in September. Nicholas County, also a coal-dependent county, witnessed a three-tenths of a percent increase from September to October, 7.9 percent to 8.2 percent. Perhaps one of the largest jumps in jobless claims was in Fayette County, jumping from 6.4 percent in September to 7 percent last month. The region’s employment hub county, Raleigh, recorded jobless claims at 6.3 percent last month, up from 6 percent the month before. Summers County’s unemployment rate jumped four-tenths of a point last month. In September the county recorded a jobless rate of 5.4 percent, in October it came in at 5.8 percent. Greenbrier County saw a jobless rate at a healthy 4.7 percent in October, up three-tenths of a percent from 4.4 percent in September. Monroe County, which normally has the region’s lowest jobless rate, continued that trend in October. The county recorded a 4.2 percent unemployment rate, up from 3.8 percent the month before. During a recent economic summit, an economist from the Federal Reserve in Richmond stated when the unemployment rate falls below 5 percent it’s not as good as it sounds. Economists regard full employment as about 5 percent unemployment, since people are leaving jobs all the time for all kinds of reasons. In order to prevent that from happening, wage levels would have to rise, which sets off inflationary issues. Granted, that is at a national level, but state numbers make up the national figure.

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