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Jobless rate on rise in Halifax County

The jobless rate in Halifax County jumped by a full percentage point in January as more residents searched for jobs. However, the unemployment rate still managed to remain below double digits. 

The unemployment rate increased to 9.1 percent, up from the 8.1 percent rate in December, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Friday.

Some 14,237 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,668. The VEC said 1,431 county residents continued to look for jobs during January.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in January a year ago stood at 9.9 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 226,743 Virginians was looking for jobs in January out of a total state workforce of 4,237,326, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.4 percent, 1.6 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7 percent.

Nationwide 10,855,000 Americans were unemployed in January out of a total work force of 154,381,000, according to figures released Friday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in most neighboring Virginia counties also increased during January with Page County having the highest jobless rate — 11.7 percent —  in the commonwealth.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in January increased to 9.3 percent, up from December’s 8.5 percent rate.

Charlotte County’s rate increased to 7.5 percent in January, up from 6.2 percent in December.

Campbell County’s rate also increased to 5.6 percent in January, up from December’s 4.6 percent.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate in January increased to 8.8 percent, up from 7.5 percent in December, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for January increased to 6.9 percent, up from December’s 5.8 percent.

While most areas were reflecting an increase in unemployment, Martinsville’s January jobless rate decreased to 11.4 percent, down one full percentage point from December’s 12.4 percent rate.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate increased to 8.8 percent in January, up from 7.2 percent in December.  

Some seven Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in January, VEC officials said including Norton at 10.2 percent, Covington at 10.4 percent, Northumberland County at 10.6 percent, Lancaster County at 10.9 percent, Dickenson County at 11.2 percent, Martinsville at 11.4 percent and Page County at 11.7 percent.