W.Va. unemployment rate rises to 7.5 percent

CHARLESTON – West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent in December 2012, according to officials from Workforce West Virginia.

Workforce recently released its Labor Market Information by West Virginia County Report for December 2012.

The number of unemployed state residents rose 1,100 to 59,700. Total unemployment was down 2,600 over the year, the report stated.

The national unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent.

Unemployment rates increased in 53 counties, while two counties, Brooke and Pocahontas, reported declining unemployment rates in December, officials said.

Counties with unemployment rates at 11 percent and over included Clay (14.9), Webster (13.7), Calhoun (12.3), Roane (11.7), Wetzel (11.5), Wyoming (11.3), and Grant (11.1). Counties with unemployment rates less than six percent included Putnam (5.9) Jefferson (4.8) and Monongalia (4.8).

Wood County had an unemployment rate of 6.8 for December 2012, up from 6.4 the previous month, according to the report. However it was still down from December 2011 when the unemployment rate was at 7.4. Wood County had a total unemployment number of 2,550 in December 2012, compared to 2,440 the previous month. It was still down from December 2011 when it was 2,860.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased 900, where a gain of 1,000 in the goods-producing sector easily offset a decline of 100 in the service-providing sector. Within the goods-producing sector, employment gains included 700 in manufacturing and 400 in construction. Employment in mining and logging slipped 100. Within the service-providing sector, employment gains included 400 in government, 400 in educational and health services, and 100 in other services. Employment declines included 800 in trade, transportation, and utilities and 200 in professional and business services. Employment was unchanged in both financial activities and in leisure and hospitality.

Since December 2011, total nonfarm payroll employment has fallen 13,900, with declines of 7,200 in the goods-producing sector and 6,700 in the service-providing sector. Employment declines included 5,000 in mining and logging, 3,500 in trade, transportation, and utilities, 3,500 in government, 2,200 in manufacturing, 1,300 in other services, 700 in financial activities, and 100 in professional and business services.

Employment gains included 2,500 in educational and health services and 300 in leisure and hospitality. Construction employment was unchanged over the year. West Virginia’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed seven-tenths of a percentage point to 7.4 percent in December 2012.