Jobless rate declines in Mason County

Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — After four previous months on the rise, unemployment rates dropped in Mason County.

The most recent county numbers are for March and show Mason County had an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, down from February’s 9 percent. The unemployment rate for March 2015 was at 10 percent.

Mason County was not alone with its decrease in unemployment, with 52 counties following that trend. Only McDowell County showed an increase in unemployment and rates in Brooke and Barbour counties remained unchanged from the previous month.

Jefferson County had the lowest unemployment rate at 4 percent, while Calhoun County had the highest at 16 percent unemployment.

Jobless rates in neighboring and/or nearby counties in West Virginia in March include: Jackson County at 7.7 percent; Cabell County at 5.3 percent; Putnam County 5.5 percent; and Kanawha County at 6.2 percent.

Unemployment numbers for neighboring counties in Ohio for March, included Meigs County at 9.6 percent, ranking it fifth out of 88 counties in terms of unemployment, and Gallia County at 7.6 percent, ranking it at 18 out of 88 counties, according to statistics from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Unemployment rates for both Meigs and Gallia counties decreased from the previous month.

Across the state total nonfarm payroll employment increased 2,400 in March with gains of 300 in the goods-producing sector and 2,100 in the service-providing sector.

Within the goods-producing sector, employment increased by 1,400 in construction, but decreased 700 in mining and logging and 400 in manufacturing. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 200 in financial activities, 500 in professional and business services, 700 in educational health services, 800 in leisure and hospitality, 100 in other services and 200 in government. Employment declines included 400 in trade, transportation and utilities. Employment in information was unchanged.

Since March 2015, total nonfarm employment has decreased by 5,200. Employment gains included 500 in financial activities, 800 in educational and health services, 800 in leisure and hospitality, 200 in other services, and 600 in government. Employment declines included 5,700 in mining and logging, 400 in construction, 700 in manufacturing, 200 in trade, transportation and utilities, 600 in information, and 500 in professional and business services.

West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined six-tenths of a percentage point to 7.2 percent in February. West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.5 percent in March. The number of unemployed state residents increased 600 to 51,400. Total unemployment was down 2,800 over the year. Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in March 2016, up from a revised 5 percent in February. The national unemployment rate inched up one-tenth of a percentage point to 5 percent.

Information for this article provided by WorkForce West Virginia and ODJFS.

Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.