Jobless rate rises in Mason Co.

By Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — The unemployment rate in Mason County is on the rise.

The most recent county numbers are for August and show Mason County had an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, up from July’s 6.7 percent. The unemployment rate for August 2015 was at 8.6 percent.

Mason County was not alone with its increase in unemployment, with 43 total counties following that trend. Unemployment rates decreased in five and were unchanged in seven counties in August.

Jefferson County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4 percent, while McDowell County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.9 percent.

Jobless rates in neighboring and/or nearby counties in West Virginia in August include: Jackson County at 5.9 percent; Cabell County at 4.8 percent; Putnam County 4.6 percent; and Kanawha County at 5.2 percent.

Across the river in Ohio, Meigs County reported an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent for August, down slightly from the 7.9 percent reported in July, ranking it second in the state, out of 88 counties, when it comes to jobless rates. Gallia County reported 6.3 percent unemployment for August, down slightly from July’s 6.4 percent, ranking it 13th out of 88 counties.

Across West Virginia, within the goods-producing sector, employment gains of 200 in mining and logging, and 100 in construction were offset by a decrease of 500 in manufacturing. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 1,200 in trade, transportation and utilities, 400 in professional and business services, 600 in education and health services and 600 in leisure and hospitality. Employment declines included 200 in information, 500 in financial activities, and 600 in government. Employment in other services was unchanged.

Since August 2015, total nonfarm payroll employment has increased by 1,500. Employment gains included 200 in trade, transportation and utilities, 5,100 in educational and health services, 2,600 in leisure and hospitality and 500 in government. Employment declines included 3,900 in mining and logging, 800 in construction, 800 in manufacturing, 400 in information, 200 in financial activities, 300 in professional and business services, and 500 in other services.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased 200 to 44,800. Total unemployment was down 8,100 over the year.

West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 in August. West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 5.7 percent in August. The national unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.

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

By Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.