Unemployment numbers vary throughout Mid-Ohio Valley counties

PARKERSBURG — Unemployment among counties in the Mid-Ohio Valley is a mix of the best and worst, according to statistics released by the state.

Calhoun County led the state with the most unemployment, 12.4 percent, in December, according to the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers released in the West Virginia County Labor Force Summary. Unemployment statewide was 4.8 percent in December compared to 5.2 percent the previous year.

Unemployment rates rose in 41 counties, declined in nine and were unchanged in five, according to the summary.

Counties with an unemployment rate above 8 percent included Clay (8.4), McDowell (9.4) and Calhoun (12.4). Jefferson (3.0) was the sole county recording an unemployment rate at or below 3 percent.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched-downward a tenth of a percentage point to 5.1 percent in December.

The unemployment rates for area counties were Wood (5.1), Wirt (7.5), Ritchie (4.8), Calhoun (12.4), Roane (7.9), Jackson (4.8), Pleasants (5.7) and Doddridge (3.8).

While Calhoun had the highest unemployment, Doddridge had the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the state.

Wood County had the 26th lowest unemployment rate while Jackson and Ritchie counties ranked higher at 15th and 16th respectively.

The civilian work force in the Parkersburg Labor Market was 38,000, down slightly from 38,300 from December 2017. There was a total employment of 36,000, down slightly from 36,100 in December 2017.

Unemployment in the Parkersburg Labor Market was 5.2 percent in December compared to 5.8 percent in December 2017.

The state’s top 10 largest private employers were WVU Medicine, Wal-Mart, the Charleston Area Medical Center, Kroger, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Lowes Home Centers, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Wheeling Hospital and Res-Care Inc., according to Workforce West Virginia.

WVU Medicine is affiliated with the Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg. Krogers and Lowes Home Centers also are located in the area.