Pocahontas unemployment highest in state

Marlinton, WV – In April, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in West Virginia inched downward three-tenths of a percentage point 7.3 to 7.0 percent. The non-adjusted national unemployment rate decreased seven-tenths of a point to 7.7 percent in April.Unemployment decreased in 42 West Virginia counties in April, while 10 counties, including Pocahontas County, saw an increase in unemployment.

Pocahontas County’s 12.7 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the state. The unemployment rate jumped 3.5 percent between March and April. Seasonal layoffs at Snowshoe Mountain contribute to the annual springtime spike in Pocahontas County unemployment. April’s 3.5 percent increase in the county’s unemployment rate is much less than last year. Between March and April 2011, unemployment in Pocahontas County spiked a full six-percent, from 11.2 to 17.2 percent.

According to Workforce West Virginia, 120 people lost jobs between March and April this year in Pocahontas County, more than 10 percent of all job losses in the state. 3,220 people remain employed in the county, out of a total civilian labor force of 3,830.

Pocahontas County commission president David Fleming wrote in an email Thursday morning that the commission can influence the county economy.

“Our location and quality of natural life is our best asset for attracting and fostering Internet-based business. The commission should continue encouraging competitive Internet infrastructure improvements in order to make online enterprise a larger part of Pocahontas County’s economic picture. The commission should also encourage and support growth of established local and homegrown businesses. We have businesses that are envisioned, owned, and operated by our own people; businesses that provide full-time work for our own people to support their families. As tried-and-true pieces of Pocahontas County’s economy, we look to them to grow so more full-time employment can be created, and our businesses look to the commission to support their expansion needs.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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