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Hiring surge bypasses county, Southside Virginia

SoVaNow.com / September 08, 2021
A July hiring surge across much of the country bypassed counties in Southside Virginia, according to the latest jobs data from the Virginia Employment Commission.

Between June and July, Mecklenburg County saw 261 people exit its labor force as the economy lost 212 jobs.

Nearby Halifax and Brunswick counties also lost both workers and jobs in the June-July period. Halifax County shed 598 workers from its labor force and ended the month with 543 fewer jobs. Brunswick County saw its active workforce shrink by 68 people, with 34 fewer jobs.

Losses also occurred in Charlotte, Lunenburg, and Pittsylvania counties. Charlotte County reported 36 fewer workers and 15 fewer jobs, Lunenburg County saw 28 workers fall out of the local workforce with seven fewer jobs, and Pittsylvania County lost 820 workers and 692 jobs during the period.

In contrast, hiring nationwide rose in July at the fastest pace in nearly a year despite fears over COVID-19′s delta variant and as companies struggled with a tight labor market and supply chain disruptions.

Despite a shrinking labor force and significant job losses, the unemployment rate fell in each of the six Southside counties.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in July fell from 5.1 percent to 4.8 percent. Unemployment in Halifax County slid from 5.3 percent to 5.1 percent, and Brunswick County’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 percent to 6.5 percent.

Charlotte, Lunenburg and Pittsylvania counties each saw their unemployment rates drop 0.4 percent from June to July – from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent in Charlotte County, from 4.3 percent to 3.9 percent in Lunenburg, and from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent in Pittsylvania.

The shrinking labor force likely explains the decline in the official unemployment rates.

The jobless rate in Virginia was 4.1 percent in July, a decrease of 0.4 percent from June. The jobless rate in the U.S. was down to 5.7 percent in July, from 6.1 percent in June.

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