MASON COUNTY — For the fifth month in a row, the unemployment rate in Mason County was on the rise.
According to WorkForce West Virginia, the unemployment rate has been steadily rising since September and went from 9.7 percent in November, to 10.1 percent in December, to 11.6 percent in January.
This means Mason County was ranked 10th out of 55 counties in terms of its unemployment rate. Mason County shared tenth place with Hancock County which also had 11.6 percent unemployment. The counties which preceded were: Braxton, Mingo, Nicholas counties with 11.5 percent unemployment; Brooke with 11.4 percent unemployment; McDowell and Pocahontas counties at 11.1 percent unemployment; Lincoln and Wyoming counties at 11 percent unemployment; Wetzel County at 12.3 percent unemployment; Roane and Grant counties at 12.9 percent unemployment; Wirt County at 13 percent unemployment; Calhoun and Webster counties at 14.6 percent unemployment. Clay County had the highest unemployment at 16.6 percent.
Jefferson County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.3 percent with Monongalia County not far behind with 5.5 percent.
The number of unemployed state residents rose 100 to 60,300. Total unemployment was up 3,500 over the year. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased 900, where a gain of 1,500 in the goods-producing sector offset a decline of 600 in the service-providing sector. Within the goods-producing sector, employment gains included 400 in construction, and 1,100 in logging and mining. Manufacturing employment was unchanged over the month. Within the service-providing sector, employment gains included 200 in information, 600 in financial activities, and 800 in leisure and hospitality. Employment declines included 300 in trade, transportation, and utilities, 800 in educational and health services, 100 in other services and 1,000 in government.
West Virginia’s unemployment rate remained at 7.4 percent, slightly below the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. The national rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point. Ohio’s unemployment rate for January was up, going from 6.7 percent in December to seven percent. County data for Ohio, including neighboring Meigs and Gallia counties, was not available at press time for this article.
Information for this article provided by WorkForce West Virginia and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.