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Unemployment up in Va., down here

Unemployment rates crept up slightly during the month of December in Virginia and many of its counties, but locally the rate actually improved by a tenth of a point.
Ann D. Lang, senior economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, said a lot of the increases seen throughout the state were the result of holiday furloughs that started earlier in 2009 and managed to fall into the reference week (Dec. 6-12) when unemployment figures were collected.
VEC Chief Economist Bill Mezger, who has announced unemployment figures in Virginia for many years, retired in December, according to Lang.
Another factor in the slight climb in unemployment in Virginia, Lang said, were several permanent closings across the state. Also, while more holiday workers were hired in 2009 than in 2008, she noted that the number of holiday employees still was lower than it had been in earlier years.
In Virginia, the unemployment rate increased three-tenths of a point, from 6.4 to 6.7 percent in December. It was at 5.1 percent in December 2008.
Despite the increase, Virginia continues to post a rate significantly better than the national rate of 9.7 percent in December. The national rate also climbed by three-tenths of a point since November, when it was at 9.4 percent.
In Pulaski County, November’s rate of 9.7 percent improved to 9.6 percent in December, while other surrounding counties experienced increases.
The rates for surrounding jurisdictions included:
n Radford City – 7.6 percent in December and 7.3 percent in November.
n Carroll County – 12.3 percent in December and 11.1 percent in November.
n Floyd County – 7.7 percent in December and 7.4 percent in November.
n Montgomery County – 6.4 percent in December and 5.9 percent in November.
n Wythe County – 10.3 percent in December and 10 percent in November.
The City of Danville continued to have the highest metropolitan rate in the state at 11.8 percent. The lowest metropolitan rate for December continued to be Northern Virginia at a steady 4.7 percent.
The Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford metropolitan area increased from 7.1 percent in November to 7.5 percent in December.
Martinsville still has a lock on the highest unemployment rate in the state, with 20.3 percent of that city’s workers were without jobs in December.
Mezger said last month that January and February are typically the worst months of the year for employment. He explained that the extra holiday help hired in November and December usually is let go in January or February, thus sending more people to unemployment lines.

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Unemployment up in Va., down here

Unemployment rates crept up slightly during the month of December in Virginia and many of its counties, but locally the rate actually improved by a tenth of a point.
Ann D. Lang, senior economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, said a lot of the increases seen throughout the state were the result of holiday furloughs that started earlier in 2009 and managed to fall into the reference week (Dec. 6-12) when unemployment figures were collected.
VEC Chief Economist Bill Mezger, who has announced unemployment figures in Virginia for many years, retired in December, according to Lang.
Another factor in the slight climb in unemployment in Virginia, Lang said, were several permanent closings across the state. Also, while more holiday workers were hired in 2009 than in 2008, she noted that the number of holiday employees still was lower than it had been in earlier years.
In Virginia, the unemployment rate increased three-tenths of a point, from 6.4 to 6.7 percent in December. It was at 5.1 percent in December 2008.
Despite the increase, Virginia continues to post a rate significantly better than the national rate of 9.7 percent in December. The national rate also climbed by three-tenths of a point since November, when it was at 9.4 percent.
In Pulaski County, November’s rate of 9.7 percent improved to 9.6 percent in December, while other surrounding counties experienced increases.
The rates for surrounding jurisdictions included:
n Radford City – 7.6 percent in December and 7.3 percent in November.
n Carroll County – 12.3 percent in December and 11.1 percent in November.
n Floyd County – 7.7 percent in December and 7.4 percent in November.
n Montgomery County – 6.4 percent in December and 5.9 percent in November.
n Wythe County – 10.3 percent in December and 10 percent in November.
The City of Danville continued to have the highest metropolitan rate in the state at 11.8 percent. The lowest metropolitan rate for December continued to be Northern Virginia at a steady 4.7 percent.
The Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford metropolitan area increased from 7.1 percent in November to 7.5 percent in December.
Martinsville still has a lock on the highest unemployment rate in the state, with 20.3 percent of that city’s workers were without jobs in December.
Mezger said last month that January and February are typically the worst months of the year for employment. He explained that the extra holiday help hired in November and December usually is let go in January or February, thus sending more people to unemployment lines.

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