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County’s unemployment rate double that of Virginia

Pulaski County’s unemployment rate for March 2009 is 14.4 percent, which is double the state rate of 7 percent.
The rate shows an increase of 4.5 percent from Pulaski County’s unemployment rate of 9.9 percent in February, according to Bill Mezger, chief economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, who noted that Pulaski County’s unemployment rate for March 2008 was 5.4 percent.
Mezger attributed this increase mainly to lay-offs at the Volvo plant in Dublin.
He also noted that in actuality, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area saw a 1.4 percent increase in jobs from March 2008 to March 2009. However, he explained that it was "sort of a fluke," because in March of last year, 2,500 Volvo employees were on strike, so they were not counted as being employed during that time.
Along with Pulaski County, unemployment rates for neighboring counties are as follows:
•Radford City: 8.7 percent for March 2009, up from 8.1 percent in February, and up from 4.4 percent in March 2008
•Giles County: 10.4 percent for March 2009, up from 9.4 percent in February, and up from 4.9 percent in March 2008
•Montgomery County: 7.3 percent, up from 6.9 percent in February, and up from 3.5 percent in March 2008
•Wythe County: 11.8 percent, up from 10.4 percent in February, and up from 5.4 percent in March 2008
Mezger noted that the Pulaski County jurisdiction has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the state. Martinsville has the highest rate, at 20.8 percent.
Among Virginia’s 134 individual jurisdictions in March 2009, Arlington County, at 4.4 percent, had the lowest jobless rate.
Virginia’s unemployment rate of 7 percent remained constant from February to March.
The number of Virginia residents drawing unemployment benefits in March 2009 was 103,000, up from both 98,000 in February and 46,000 in March 2008, according to a press release from Mezger.
The release also states that March often shows an improvement over February due to increased activity in outside work and tourism, and if Easter occurs in March, that also helps employment and lowers unemployment.
However, Mezger said March 2009 saw the combination of the general slump in construction and cool wet weather preventing much of an increase in outside work, and Easter, with its associated travel and retail activity, did not occur until April.
Mezger added that April should see some seasonal employment improvement, and the Easter holiday, with children out of school and spring travel, usually boosts the economy. He added that many tours come to Virginia for Garden Week and other springtime events in April, and that April is usually the best month for unemployment in the first half of the year.

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County’s unemployment rate double that of Virginia

Pulaski County’s unemployment rate for March 2009 is 14.4 percent, which is double the state rate of 7 percent.
The rate shows an increase of 4.5 percent from Pulaski County’s unemployment rate of 9.9 percent in February, according to Bill Mezger, chief economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, who noted that Pulaski County’s unemployment rate for March 2008 was 5.4 percent.
Mezger attributed this increase mainly to lay-offs at the Volvo plant in Dublin.
He also noted that in actuality, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area saw a 1.4 percent increase in jobs from March 2008 to March 2009. However, he explained that it was "sort of a fluke," because in March of last year, 2,500 Volvo employees were on strike, so they were not counted as being employed during that time.
Along with Pulaski County, unemployment rates for neighboring counties are as follows:
•Radford City: 8.7 percent for March 2009, up from 8.1 percent in February, and up from 4.4 percent in March 2008
•Giles County: 10.4 percent for March 2009, up from 9.4 percent in February, and up from 4.9 percent in March 2008
•Montgomery County: 7.3 percent, up from 6.9 percent in February, and up from 3.5 percent in March 2008
•Wythe County: 11.8 percent, up from 10.4 percent in February, and up from 5.4 percent in March 2008
Mezger noted that the Pulaski County jurisdiction has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the state. Martinsville has the highest rate, at 20.8 percent.
Among Virginia’s 134 individual jurisdictions in March 2009, Arlington County, at 4.4 percent, had the lowest jobless rate.
Virginia’s unemployment rate of 7 percent remained constant from February to March.
The number of Virginia residents drawing unemployment benefits in March 2009 was 103,000, up from both 98,000 in February and 46,000 in March 2008, according to a press release from Mezger.
The release also states that March often shows an improvement over February due to increased activity in outside work and tourism, and if Easter occurs in March, that also helps employment and lowers unemployment.
However, Mezger said March 2009 saw the combination of the general slump in construction and cool wet weather preventing much of an increase in outside work, and Easter, with its associated travel and retail activity, did not occur until April.
Mezger added that April should see some seasonal employment improvement, and the Easter holiday, with children out of school and spring travel, usually boosts the economy. He added that many tours come to Virginia for Garden Week and other springtime events in April, and that April is usually the best month for unemployment in the first half of the year.

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