MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research said there is no one economic solution that will work in every part of West Virginia.

John Deskins said that is something lawmakers will have to keep in mind when the 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins in the New Year.

“We have a lot to be happy about in terms of the economy in this state.  We’ve gotten a lot of good news over the past few years.  We’ve had growth that has outpaced the national rate of growth, in many ways.  That’s good news, but we also have a lot of concerns,” said Deskins of the state’s economic forecast into the future.

Those concerns include a population decline that is expected to continue while, at the same time, the people remaining in the Mountain State get older and, in some cases, unhealthier.

“For some of those areas, it’s hard (to address the issues),” said Deskins of the regions in West Virginia that have experienced major industry losses over decades.

While West Virginia is expected to post steady job growth during the next few years, Deskins said many of those economic improvements will be exclusive to Morgantown and the Eastern Panhandle, the areas which are doing the best, economically, statewide.  Recent forecasts for those specific areas were positive.

Other parts of the state are not doing anywhere near as well.  Some counties have posted very little to no economic growth recently.

“Our growth isn’t consistently distributed across the state.  We have some regions that are growing really healthily and some regions that aren’t growing at all,” said Deskins.  “It’s very hard for (statewide) policy to fix every single area in the state.”

Deskins was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The 2014 Regular Legislative Session starts in January.

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Comments

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Haven't you heard? Marcellus Shale gas is going to save us all. Just the other day, the Governor announced that the new "Cracker" plant will employ thousands of.....uh...hundreds..er........well,
    tens of.....uh...well, shoot... a bunch of new convenient stores are going to be built in central West Virginian to cater to the needs of Texans and Oklahomans!

    Get the new plate ready for our old pick-up trucks--"Friends of Crackers"!

    • Larry

      I hate to nitpick but it's convenience stores.

      • Gilbert Gnarley

        Doh! My bad. Thanks, Larry. :-)

  • wv hillbilly

    Until the leadership of the U.S. Senate and Congress, along with the Legislature and the Governor get involved and show a concern for a loss of jobs, such as the 250 + due to bne lost at the U.S. Navy facility in Pendleton County, this state will suffer. All they care about are the "Big 11" high population counties needed to get elected. More to it than that folks! Can't gain 500 jobs in Fairmont, Morgantown, Martinsburgh or Charleston and lose 2000 elsewhere, 10-100 at a time, and expect anything to get better! Duh!

    • susanf1218

      WHY in the world would the US Navy have a facility in Pendleton County?? How absurd!

      • Lowlander

        Perhaps you need to look up "Sugar Grove Naval Base" and educate yourself on some of the rare finds we have right here in our backyard. :)

      • Larry

        Didn't you know Pendleton Co. bordered the ocean?

        • Gilbert Gnarley

          Yes, and not one single Zero made it past Franklin during World War II.

  • Charleston,WV

    According to the Charleston Gazette, prognosticators of our legislator have indicated an $ 80 million shortfall for the fiscal year in 2014-15, and also expect that shortfall two grow to an estimated $265 million for the fiscal year 2015-16.

  • Joe

    Send them U-Hauls. No economic activity will ever happen in those regions.