Unemployment in Mason County declines

Beth Sergent

January 29, 2014

MASON COUNTY —Mason County’s unemployment rate went from the third highest in the state to the sixth, according to the latest statistics released by WorkForce West Virginia.

In December 2013, Mason County’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, which was a decrease from November’s 9.4 percent. In December 2012, the unemployment rate was 10 percent.

Out of 55 counties, Mason County shared its sixth place finish with Grant and Roane counties which also reported an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent. Unemployment rates preceding Mason, Grant and Roane counties are McDowell County with 8.8 percent, Mingo County with 9.8 percent, Doddridge County with 10 percent, Webster and Clay counties both with 10.4 percent and Wetzel County with 10.5 percent unemployment - the highest in the state.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Jefferson County at 3.6 percent and Monongalia County at 3.4 percent.

The number of unemployed state residents fell 1,300 in December to 46,700. Total unemployment was down 13,500 over the year. The national unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.7 in December. Total nonfarm payroll employment decreased 2,200 in December, with losses of 1,800 in the goods-producing sector and 400 in the service-providing sector.

Within the goods-producing sector, mining and logging added 500 jobs, while construction lost 1,800 jobs and manufacturing declined 500 over the month. Within the service-providing sector, employment gains included 600 in trade, transportation, and utilities and 200 in financial activities. Employment declines included 200 in professional and business services, 300 in educational and health services, 300 in leisure and hospitality, 300 in other services, and 100 in government. Employment in information was unchanged.

Since December 2012, total nonfarm payroll employment has added 7,700 jobs, with gains of 4,500 in the service-providing sector and 3,200 in the goods-producing sector. Employment gains included 4,100 in mining and logging, 1,200 in trade, transportation, and utilities, 100 in information, 600 in financial activities, 1,700 in professional and business services, 1,500 in educational and health services, and 900 in government. Employment declines included 400 in construction, 500 in manufacturing, 800 in leisure and hospitality, and 700 in other services.

West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.6 percent in Dec

Information for this article provided by WorkForce WV.