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County jobless rate on the rise in May

The jobless rate in Halifax County rose by three-tenths of a point in May, as fewer residents were able to find jobs. However, the county’s unemployment rate continues to remain below double digits. 

The unemployment rate rose to 8 percent, up from 7.7 percent rate in April, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Tuesday.

Some 14,740 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 16,022. The VEC said 1,282 county residents continued to look for jobs during May.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in May a year ago stood at 9.1 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 233,252 Virginians was looking for jobs in May out of a total state workforce of 4,344,225, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.4 percent, seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national jobless rate of 6.1 percent.

Nationwide 9,443,000 Americans were unemployed in May out of a total work force of 155,841,000, according to figures released Tuesday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in many neighboring Virginia counties also increased during May.

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 10.8 percent in May, four-tenths of a percent lower than 11.2 percent in April.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate rose in May to 8.7 percent, six-tenths of a point higher from the 8.1 percent in April.

Charlotte County’s rate rose to 7.4 percent, up eight-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 6.6 percent.

Campbell County’s rate rose to 5.7 percent, up six-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 4.9 percent.

Danville’s jobless rate in May increased to 9.8 percent, up nine-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 8.9 percent, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for rose to 6.5 percent, up eighth-tenths of a percent from April’s rate of 5.7 percent.

VEC officials reported Henry County’s rate increased to 8.2 percent in May, up from 7.5 percent in April.

Although Martinsville was the only nearby jurisdiction to see a decrease in unemployment during May, it continued to have the largest unemployment rate in the state at 10.8 percent. 

Other jurisdictions having double-digit unemployment in May, according to VEC officials, included Lexington and Petersburg, both reporting 10.3 percent unemployment rates.