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Outlook gets brighter on jobs front in Halifax County

More people in Halifax County found jobs in May. The jobless rate improved again in Halifax County as the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, one-tenth of a percent lower than the 8.7 percent jobless rate in April, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday. 

A total of 14,754 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 16,146. The VEC said 1,392 county residents were looking for jobs during the month. 

Halifax County’s jobless rate in May a year ago was 10.1 percent, according to VEC archive data. 

A total of 240,661 Virginians was looking for jobs out of a total state workforce of 4,345,319, according to VEC data. 

Virginia’s rate is 5.5 percent, 2.4 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.9 percent.

Nationwide, 12,271,000 Americans were unemployed in May out of a total work force of 154,998,000, according to figures released.

VEC data showed some unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties increased, while others decreased in May and one county held its own.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate increased to 9.2, up one-tenth of a percentage point from April’s 9.1 percent. 

Charlotte County’s rate also increased to 8.1 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from April’s 8.0 percent rate. 

Campbell County’s rate also increased to 5.9, up one-tenth of a percentage point from April’s 5.8 percent. 

The City of Danville’s jobless rate decreased five-tenths of a percent in May to 10.4 percent, down from April’s 10.9 percent, VEC officials said. 

Pittsylvania County’s rate for May remained at 6.7 percent, even with April’s unemployment rate. 

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 14.4 percent, 1.3 percentage points down from a high of 15.7 percent in April. 

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 9.3 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from April’s 9.5 percent. 

Martinsville continues its hold on the highest rate of unemployment in the commonwealth. 

A total of seven Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in May, VEC officials said. 

Counties with the highest unemployment rate included Martinsville, 14.4 percent; Williamsburg, 12.6 percent; Petersburg, 11.7 percent; Lexington City, 11.6 percent, Danville, 10.4 percent, Emporia, 10.3 percent and Franklin City, 10 percent.