Jobless rate drops in Mason County

By Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — Unemployment in Mason County is down slightly, according to the latest statistics.

The most recent county numbers are for February and show an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, down slightly from the previous month’s 7.8 percent unemployment. The unemployment rate a year prior to that was 8.7 percent in February 2016.

The decrease in unemployment was seen by 42 total counties while unemployment went up in 6 counties, and was unchanged in 7 counties.

Jefferson County once again had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4 percent, while Calhoun County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.9 percent.

Jobless rates in neighboring and/or nearby counties in West Virginia in February include: Jackson County at 6.7 percent; Cabell County at 4.8 percent; Putnam County 5.1 percent; and Kanawha County at 5.4 percent.

Across the river in Ohio, Meigs and Gallia counties also saw unemployment rates drop. Despite the decline, Meigs County held steady in second place in terms of having the highest unemployment rate in the state’s 88 counties. Meigs’ unemployment rate for February was 10.2 percent, down from January’s 10.9 percent. In Gallia County, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent in February, down from January’s 8.9 percent. This placed Gallia 13th out of 88 counties, in terms of unemployment.

Across West Virginia, the goods-producing sector reported employment gains of 300 in mining and logging, 700 in construction and 400 in manufacturing. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 100 in information, 400 in financial activities, 200 in educational and health services, and 500 in leisure and hospitality. Employment declines included 600 in trade, transportation and utilities, 100 in professional and business services and 200 in other services. Employment in government was unchanged.

Since February 2016, total nonfarm payroll employment has decreased by 2,700. Employment gains included 500 in construction, 100 in information, 3,100 in educational and health services, 100 in other services, and 1,300 in government. Employment declines included 800 in mining and logging, 1,300 in manufacturing, 3,100 in trade, transportation and utilities, 600 in financial activities, 1,100 in professional and business services and 900 in leisure and hospitality.

The number of unemployed state residents fell to 40,300. Total unemployment was down 9,000 over the year. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased 1,700 in February, with gains of 1,400 in the goods-producing sector and 300 in the service-providing sector.

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment fell slightly to 5.2 percent in February. West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 6 percent in February. The national unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent.

Information for this article provided by WorkForce West Virginia and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

By Beth Sergent

Beth Sergent is editor at Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Beth Sergent is editor at Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at