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Unemployment rates climb throughout state

Unemployment rates rose across the U.S., Virginia and throughout the New River Valley from April to May.
Virginia’s seasonally unadjusted jobless rate increased from 6.6 to 7 percent, which is nearly double the 3.6 unemployment rate for May 2008.
However, Virginia’s rate is still over 2 percent below the U.S. seasonally unadjusted employment rate of 9.1 percent.
Seasonally adjusted, the Virginia jobless rate rose from 6.8 percent in April to 7.1 percent in May, which is even more favorable than the national seasonally adjusted rate of 9.4 percent, Mezger said.
In Pulaski County, the unemployment rate rose from 11.3 percent to 12.4 percent from April to May.
The rise in unemployment for May came as college graduates and students entered the labor market at the end of the school year, and the suspension of motor vehicle production for the remainder of the 2009 model year caused layoffs at Virginia vehicle component suppliers, according to a press release from William Mezger, chief economist with the Virginia Employment Commission.
As for future months, Mezger said June normally sees a further rise in unemployment as high school students join college youth already in the summer job market. With the recession, this is the worst summer job market in nearly three decades, he said, adding that the stimulus monies are starting to create jobs, but problems at vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers and dealers will create additional unemployment for several more months.
Other unemployment rates throughout the NRV include Radford City, with the rate rising from 8 percent to 9.6 percent, Giles County, with the rate rising from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent and Montgomery County, with the rate rising from 6.7 percent to 7.1 percent, according to reports from the VEC.
Wythe County’s rate actually decreased slightly, from 11.6 percent to 11.5 percent.
All 10 of Virginia’s metropolitan areas saw increased unemployment from April to May.
Northern Virginia, the largest metropolitan area, had the lowest metropolitan rate with unemployment rising from 5 percent in April to 5.3 percent in May, Mezger said in the press release.
Danville, the smallest metropolitan area, had the highest rate with unemployment rising from 12.4 percent in April to 13 percent in May, he said.
The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area saw an increase in unemployment from 8.2 percent in April to 8.9 percent in May, which is more than double the May 2008 unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, according to VEC data.
Among Virginia’s 134 invididual jurisdictions in May 2009, Arlington County, at 4.5 percent, had the lowest jobless rate. Poquoson City, at 4.7 percent, and Fairfax County, at 4.9 percent, were the only two other jurisdictions with less than 5 percent unemployment.
Mezger noted in the press release that the 5 percent jobless level is generally considered to be full employment.
Martinsville City, at 21.9 percent, had the highest unemployment rate.
There were 24 jurisdictions, mostly along the North Carolina border, with double-digit unemployment this month.

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Unemployment rates climb throughout state

Unemployment rates rose across the U.S., Virginia and throughout the New River Valley from April to May.
Virginia’s seasonally unadjusted jobless rate increased from 6.6 to 7 percent, which is nearly double the 3.6 unemployment rate for May 2008.
However, Virginia’s rate is still over 2 percent below the U.S. seasonally unadjusted employment rate of 9.1 percent.
Seasonally adjusted, the Virginia jobless rate rose from 6.8 percent in April to 7.1 percent in May, which is even more favorable than the national seasonally adjusted rate of 9.4 percent, Mezger said.
In Pulaski County, the unemployment rate rose from 11.3 percent to 12.4 percent from April to May.
The rise in unemployment for May came as college graduates and students entered the labor market at the end of the school year, and the suspension of motor vehicle production for the remainder of the 2009 model year caused layoffs at Virginia vehicle component suppliers, according to a press release from William Mezger, chief economist with the Virginia Employment Commission.
As for future months, Mezger said June normally sees a further rise in unemployment as high school students join college youth already in the summer job market. With the recession, this is the worst summer job market in nearly three decades, he said, adding that the stimulus monies are starting to create jobs, but problems at vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers and dealers will create additional unemployment for several more months.
Other unemployment rates throughout the NRV include Radford City, with the rate rising from 8 percent to 9.6 percent, Giles County, with the rate rising from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent and Montgomery County, with the rate rising from 6.7 percent to 7.1 percent, according to reports from the VEC.
Wythe County’s rate actually decreased slightly, from 11.6 percent to 11.5 percent.
All 10 of Virginia’s metropolitan areas saw increased unemployment from April to May.
Northern Virginia, the largest metropolitan area, had the lowest metropolitan rate with unemployment rising from 5 percent in April to 5.3 percent in May, Mezger said in the press release.
Danville, the smallest metropolitan area, had the highest rate with unemployment rising from 12.4 percent in April to 13 percent in May, he said.
The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan area saw an increase in unemployment from 8.2 percent in April to 8.9 percent in May, which is more than double the May 2008 unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, according to VEC data.
Among Virginia’s 134 invididual jurisdictions in May 2009, Arlington County, at 4.5 percent, had the lowest jobless rate. Poquoson City, at 4.7 percent, and Fairfax County, at 4.9 percent, were the only two other jurisdictions with less than 5 percent unemployment.
Mezger noted in the press release that the 5 percent jobless level is generally considered to be full employment.
Martinsville City, at 21.9 percent, had the highest unemployment rate.
There were 24 jurisdictions, mostly along the North Carolina border, with double-digit unemployment this month.

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