Unemployment on the rise

Beth Sergent - bsergent@civitasmedia.com

POINT PLEASANT — For the second consecutive month, unemployment has risen in Mason County.

The most recent county numbers are for December 2015 and show Mason County had an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, up slightly from 6.6 percent in November 2015. The unemployment rate for December 2014 was at 7.8 percent.

Mason County was not alone with its increase in unemployment with 49 total counties following that trend and only two showing a decrease in unemployment, while four showed no change.

Jefferson County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.1 percent, while Calhoun County had the highest at 13 percent unemployment.

Unemployment rates in neighboring and/or nearby counties in West Virginia for December include: Jackson County at 6.5 percent; Cabell County at 4.3 percent; Putnam County 4.6 percent; and Kanawha County at 5.2 percent.

Across the state, total nonfarm payroll employment increased 700 in December, with an increase of 2,300 in the goods-producing sector offset by a decrease of 1,600 in the service-providing sector.

Within the goods-producing sector, employment decreased by 300 in mining and logging, and 100 in manufacturing. Employment in construction increased 2,700. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 400 in leisure and hospitality and 100 in government. Employment declines included 300 in trade, transportation and utilities, 100 in financial activities, 800 in professional and business services, and 900 in educational and health services. Employment in both information and other services was unchanged.

Since December 2014, total nonfarm payroll employment has decreased by 11,800. Employment gains included 100 in manufacturing, 2,400 in educational and health services, and 300 in other services. Employment declines included 5,600 in mining and logging, 2,300 in construction, 400 in information, 600 in financial activities, 1,200 in professional and business services, 1,000 in trade, transportation and utilities, 1,800 in leisure and hospitality.

West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9 percent in December. West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.3 percent in December. Total unemployment was up 3,600 over the year. The number of unemployed state residents decreased 1,800 to 49,300. The national unemployment rate remained at 5 percent.

Information for this article provided by WorkForce West Virginia.

Beth Sergent


Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.