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Jobless figures tick up in Halifax County

The jobs outlook in Halifax County grew much bleaker at the start of the year in January, increasing 1.2 percent from the 8.7 percent rate in October and November and December to 9.9 percent, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Friday.

Halifax County residents weren’t alone in having difficulty locating jobs with 27 jurisdictions seeing unemployment rates spike into the double digits.

Some 14,212 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,770. The VEC said 1,558 county residents continued to look for jobs during January.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in January a year ago stood at 10.1 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 260,188 Virginians was looking for jobs in January out of a total state workforce of 4,210,559, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 6.2 percent, 2.3 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 8.5 percent.

Nationwide 13,181,000 Americans were unemployed in January out of a total work force of 154,794,000, according to figures released Friday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in all neighboring Virginia counties increased in January.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate increased to 10.7 percent, up 1.6 percent from December’s 9.1 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate increased 1.2 percent to 8.4 percent, up from December’s unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.

Campbell County’s rate increased eight-tenths of a percent to 6.2 percent in January, up from the 5.4 percent rate in December.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate rose 1.1 percent to 10.6 percent, up from December’s rate of 9.5 percent, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for January increased to 7.5 percent, up a full percentage point from the 6.5 percent reported in December.

Martinsville’s jobless rate increased to 16.9 percent, up 1.5 percent from December’s 15.2 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate increased to 10.7 percent, up 1.5 percent from the 9.2 percent reported in December.

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

 A total of 27 Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in January, VEC officials said.

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in January included Martinsville at 16.9 percent; Williamsburg at 15.4 percent, Pulaski at 13 percent; Grayson at 12.7 percent; Petersburg at 12.9 percent; Page at 12.5 percent; Emporia at 12.2 percent; Northumberland and Dickenson, both at 11.8 percent; Brunswick at 11.5 percent; Franklin City at 11.3 percent; Lexington and Richmond, both at 11.2 percent; Lancaster at 11 percent; Northampton at 10.8 percent; Mecklenburg and Henry, both at 10.7 percent; Danville at 10.6 percent; Buchanan and Covington, both at 10.5 percent; Hopewell at 10. 4 percent; Carroll at 10.3 percent; Galax and Russell, both at 10.2 percent; Greensville at 10.1 percent; and Bedford at 10 percent.