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Jobless rate remains same for third straight month

For the third straight month, the jobs outlook in Halifax County remained the same in December, holding its own at 8.7 percent, the same as reported in October and November, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Tuesday.

Some 14,776 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 16,191. The VEC said 1,415 county residents continued to look for jobs during December.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in December a year ago stood at 9.6 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 231,985 Virginians was looking for jobs in December out of a total state workforce of 4,316,565, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.4 percent, 2.2 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.6 percent.

Nationwide 11,844,000 Americans were unemployed in December out of a total work force of 154,904,000, according to figures released Wednesday.

VEC data showed some unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties decreased slightly, some increased while others remained the same in December.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate increased to 9.1 percent, up two-tenths of a percent from November’s 8.9 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate held steady at 7.2 percent, even with November’s unemployment rate.

Campbell County’s rate increased two-tenths of a percent to 5.4 percent in December, up from the 5.2 percent rate in October and November.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate held steady at 9.5 percent, even with its November rate, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for October decreased to 6.5 percent, down two-tenths of a percent from the 6.7 percent reported in September, October and November.

Martinsville’s jobless rate fell to 15.2 percent in December, down five-tenths of a percent from November’s 15.7 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 9.2 percent, down one-tenth of a percent from the 9.3 percent reported in October and November.

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

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

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in December included Martinsville at 15.2 percent; Williamsburg, 12.2 percent; Page County, 10.5 percent, Emporia, 10.1 percent; and Bedford City at 10.8 percent.