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County’s jobless rate jumps

Unemployment rates for both Pulaski County and Virginia rose in August, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Pulaski County’s jobless rate stood at 9.4 percent for August with 1,760 people unemployed, reported William Mezger, chief economist with the VEC.
The August rate is a full point higher than in July when unemployment hit 8.4 percent with 1,551 people unemployed.
A year ago, Pulaski County’s jobless rate stood at 6.3 percent for August with 1,146 unemployed.
As for the state as a whole, unemployment stood at 4.6 percent in August — the highest level since January 1997 when the rate also hit 4.6 percent.
The August rate is a tenth of one percent higher than the revised July rate of 4.5 percent — and is nearly one and a half percent higher than the 3.2 percent rate for August 2007.
Mezger said part of the reason that Virginia’s rate is higher for the month is due to fairly steady unemployment with a reduced labor force. But, he said, there’s also a fair amount of nervousness in the economy. “With things nationally being so slow, people aren’t moving into new jobs as quickly as they usually would,” Mezger explained. He added that “businesses are being more cautious about hiring, and while there haven’t been many big layoffs, there have been little layoffs here and there. The number of them have just built up over the past year.”
He noted that many businesses are probably waiting to see if Congress will pass the Economic Reform Act being considered by representatives in Washington before hiring picks up.
Across the New River Valley, aside from Pulaski County, unemployment generally held steady.
Radford saw a decline in unemployment, dropping from 8 percent in July to 7.7 percent in August.
Giles County increased in August to 6 percent from 5.9 percent in July.
Wythe County held steady at 7 percent, and Montgomery County saw a decline from 5.4 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August.
Arlington County led the way in Virginia with the lowest jobless rate at 2.8 percent, while Martinsville City was highest at 12.1 percent.
The VEC also reported the average weekly wage among Virginia’s 214,700 production workers was $792.49 — down $8.74 from July’s weekly wage, but $46.82 higher than August of 2007.
The average workweek for production workers in Virginia was 43 hours, and the average hourly wage was $18.43.
You may contact Mike Williams at publisher@southwestimes.com

County’s jobless rate jumps

Unemployment rates for both Pulaski County and Virginia rose in August, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Pulaski County’s jobless rate stood at 9.4 percent for August with 1,760 people unemployed, reported William Mezger, chief economist with the VEC.
The August rate is a full point higher than in July when unemployment hit 8.4 percent with 1,551 people unemployed.
A year ago, Pulaski County’s jobless rate stood at 6.3 percent for August with 1,146 unemployed.
As for the state as a whole, unemployment stood at 4.6 percent in August — the highest level since January 1997 when the rate also hit 4.6 percent.
The August rate is a tenth of one percent higher than the revised July rate of 4.5 percent — and is nearly one and a half percent higher than the 3.2 percent rate for August 2007.
Mezger said part of the reason that Virginia’s rate is higher for the month is due to fairly steady unemployment with a reduced labor force. But, he said, there’s also a fair amount of nervousness in the economy. “With things nationally being so slow, people aren’t moving into new jobs as quickly as they usually would,” Mezger explained. He added that “businesses are being more cautious about hiring, and while there haven’t been many big layoffs, there have been little layoffs here and there. The number of them have just built up over the past year.”
He noted that many businesses are probably waiting to see if Congress will pass the Economic Reform Act being considered by representatives in Washington before hiring picks up.
Across the New River Valley, aside from Pulaski County, unemployment generally held steady.
Radford saw a decline in unemployment, dropping from 8 percent in July to 7.7 percent in August.
Giles County increased in August to 6 percent from 5.9 percent in July.
Wythe County held steady at 7 percent, and Montgomery County saw a decline from 5.4 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August.
Arlington County led the way in Virginia with the lowest jobless rate at 2.8 percent, while Martinsville City was highest at 12.1 percent.
The VEC also reported the average weekly wage among Virginia’s 214,700 production workers was $792.49 — down $8.74 from July’s weekly wage, but $46.82 higher than August of 2007.
The average workweek for production workers in Virginia was 43 hours, and the average hourly wage was $18.43.
You may contact Mike Williams at publisher@southwestimes.com