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Jobs scene getting brighter

SoVaNow.com / December 05, 2012
The latest employment data out for the month of October suggests the Mecklenburg County jobs market is continuing to heal after a prolonged recession.

The county’s unemployment rate fell to an even 9 percent in October after coming in at 9.1 percent in September, the Virginia Employment Commission reported last week. As recently as August, unemployment exceeded 10 percent. The jobless rate for the October period last year was 10.2 percent.

The number of county residents holding jobs inched up to 12,519 in October, compared to 12,378 in September and the civilian labor force also increased from 13,620 in September to 13,764 in October.

The number of unemployed persons has dropped by 160 since October of last year.

A growing labor force generally indicates that people previously discouraged from seeking work are re-entering the job market. The monthly data for Virginia localities is seasonally unadjusted, which helps to account for falling unemployment rates as schools return to session.

The VEC reported yesterday that rising government employment has helped to fuel the improving numbers. The number of government jobs in Virginia rose by 11,300, with local school hiring boosting employment by 10,500 jobs.

Other sectors that posted job gains in October were private education and health services, professional and business services, trade and transportation, and finance. The leisure and entertainment and construction industries experienced job losses.

Across Southside, counties and cities saw modest improvements in their local job markets:

Halifax County’s unemployment rate dipped to 8.7 percent in October, down from 9.1 in September, as 1,427 members of the 16,428 member civilian labor force were looking for work. Last October Halifax County’s jobless rate stood at 10.1 percent.

Charlotte County’s jobless rate fell from 7.8 percent in September to 7.4 percent in October.

Unemployment in the City of Danville dropped to 9.3 percent in October from 9.9 percent in September.

In Pittsylvania County, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in both September and October.

Statewide, the number of unemployed workers decreased by 4,659 in October, while the labor force grew by 15,234. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell .2 of a percent, to 5.7 percent after coming in at 5.9 percent for the prior three months.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a point, from 7.6 percent in September to 7.5 percent in October.





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