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Halifax County jobless rate falls to 7.7 percent in April

SoVaNow.com / June 05, 2014
Halifax County’s jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent in April, on the heels of a March report of 8.5 percent unemployment

However, the news was not all good as the decline was driven by a shrinking labor pool: 160 people exited the civilian work force, either after moving away or ceasing active efforts to find work.

Overall, the number of jobs in Halifax was virtually unchanged — 14,601 in April, compared to 14,613 in March — but the official number of unemployed fell from 1,360 persons to 1,212.

Of 134 counties in Virginia, Halifax County ranks 118th in overall employment.

Elsewhere in Southside Virginia, the trend was much the same:

Charlotte County’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in April, down from 7.2 percent in March.

Mecklenburg County’s rate went from 8.7 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, even as the labor pool shrank by 166 workers.

Lunenburg County’s rate went from 6.5 percent in March to 5.9 percent in April.

Brunswick County fared best in the latest reporting from the Virginia Employment Commission. Its unemployment rate went from 8.9 percent in March to 8.0 percent in April, and both the civilian labor force and the number of jobs grew — a reflection of construction underway at the new $1.3 billion Dominion gas-fired power plant near Lawrenceville.

Brunswick County’s labor force has grown by nearly 170 workers in the past two months, according to the VEC.

Despite area-wide improvement in jobless rates, counties within the Southside Planning District — Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg — rank last among the state’s planning areas on employment metrics.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in April, down from 6.8 percent rate in March. Statewide, the jobless rate fell slightly to 4.7 percent in April, down from March’s rate of 5.3 percent.



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