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Halifax jobless rate climbs to 10 percent in June / August 05, 2013
Mirroring a statewide trend, unemployment in Southside Virginia took a turn for the worse in June, with Halifax’s jobless rate climbing back into double digits at an even 10 percent.

The previous month, the county’s unemployment rate stood at 9.3 percent.

From May to June, 83 county residents joined the ranks of unemployed workers who are actively seeking jobs. That number includes individuals who have re-entered the active workforce after dropping out entirely, possibly a sign they see their employment prospects as improving. The Halifax County civilian labor pool grew by 43 persons, to 15,884. Out of that number, 1,590 people were looking for work.

Elsewhere in Southside Virginia, localities saw their unemployment rates climb from May to June. In Mecklenburg County, June unemployment was 10.5 percent, a level last seen at the beginning of the year, when two major local industries ceased operations — Home Care Industries and International Veneer. (Home Care, in La Crosse, has since reopened under new ownership.)

In the City of Danville, June unemployment was 11.1 percent, up from 10.3 percent in May. Pittsylvania County’s jobless rate inched up to 6.8 percent in June from 6.6 percent in May.

In Charlotte County, unemployment rose to 8.7 percent in June from 7.8 percent in May.

Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties posted three of the highest jobless rates in Virginia, and among the worst among counties. Mecklenburg ranked 127th out of 134 cities and counties in Virginia, with Brunswick and Halifax coming 126th and 124th, respectively. Among counties, Dickenson had the highest jobless rate, at 11.5 percent; Martinsville was highest among cities, with 14 percent unemployment.

The Virginia Employment Commission offered no explanation for the climb in joblessness in June, something its economists have done in the past, often attributing ups-and-downs to seasonal factors.

Across Virginia, the employment rate rose to an even 6 percent in June, up from the May rate of 5.6 percent.

Nationally, the jobless rate rose one-half a percentage point to 7.8 percent in June up from 7.3 in May.

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