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Unemployment rate rises during month of August

September 26, 2011
By Anthony Gaynor, Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The number of Mountain State residents seeking unemployment benefits climbed during the month of August, according to data recently released by WorkForce West Virginia. The unemployment rate climbed from 7.4 percent to 8 percent in August.

Data Analyst Joe Jarvis said an additional 4,900 people became unemployed during the month, but the rate could fall in coming months.

"September and October typically have some of the lowest unemployment rates of the year, so we should see a decline in the unemployment rate with the next release," he said. "Ideally, we need to see job creation in both our state and surrounding states to put West Virginians to work. This will lead to a decline in the unemployment rate. We are temporarily seeing limited growth in job creation at both the state and national levels."

With the addition of 4,900 people unemployed, there are 62,300 people jobless statewide.

The rate fell in all area counties, but Jarvis said it could fall as ski season is preparing to gear up.

"The economies in the counties listed are reflecting a national trend of limited growth or no growth in job creation," he said. "As the ski season begins in a few months, conditions should improve in Tucker and Pocahontas counties.

In Randolph County, the rate rose from 6.4 percent in July to 7.4 percent in August. There were 2,040 people without work in July and the number of jobless climbed to 2,360 in August.

Upshur County's rate rose to 8.4 percent in August from 7.5 percent in June. There were 840 people unemployed in August compared to 760 in July.

Tucker County's rate rose from 9.9 percent in July to 10.6 percent in August. The number of unemployed climbed from 260 to 280.

The rate in Barbour County was 8.5 percent with 530 unemployed in July which rose to 9.4 percent and 590 jobless in August.

Lewis County reported an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in July, which rose to 6.4 percent in August. There were 510 jobless in August and 430 in July.

In Pocahontas County, the rate jumped from 8.9 percent with 310 jobless in July to 9.9 percent and 340 unemployed in August.

The rate in Hardy County fell from 9 percent with 560 jobless in June to a rate of 7.9 percent and 490 unemployed in July.

In Pendleton County, the rate climbed from 5.3 percent in July to 5.9 percent in August. There were 180 jobless in July and 200 in August.

The rate in Grant County climbed from 11.4 percent in July with 540 unemployed to 12.3 percent and 580 jobless in August.

The lowest unemployment rate in the state was 5.6 percent in Monongalia County.

Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at



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