Unemployment jumps to 15.2 percent in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s unemployment rate jumped more then nine percentage points in April to 15.2 percent after a record number of unemployment claims filed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WorkForce West Virginia said unemployed state residents increased from 67,400 in March to 117,100 in April. Businesses began to close in West Virginia around March 17 with many layoffs to follow. Unemployment claims since the pandemic began have now topped more than 200,000, according to comments made by Gov. Jim Justice Tuesday.

WorkForce said the good producing sector declined in unemployment by 4,700 with the service-providing sector dropping 67,800 jobs.

WorkForce WV release..West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 15.2 percent, up over nine percentage points in April.

The number of unemployed state residents increased 67,400 to 117,100. Total unemployment was up 79,600 over the year. The national unemployment rate
increased to 14.7 percent in April. These changes reflect the effects of the coronavirus
pandemic and efforts to contain it.

Total nonfarm payroll employment decreased 72,500 in March, with declines of 4,700 in the
goods-producing sector and 67,800 in the service-providing sector.

WorkForce said the biggest drop in service jobs came in leisure and hospitality (30,800), trade, transportation and utilities (12,400), education and health services (9,200), government (6,600), professional and business services (3,700), other services (2,600) and financial activities (2,200).

WorkForce will release the county-by-county unemployment rate for April next week.

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