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Halifax County jobless rate drops in February

The jobs outlook in Halifax County brightened slightly in February, decreasing six-tenths of a percent from the 9.9 percent rate in January to 9.3 percent in February, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Friday.

However, Halifax County residents weren’t alone in having difficulty locating jobs with 17 jurisdictions seeing unemployment rates continue in the double digits.

Some 14,131 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,576. The VEC said 1,445 county residents continued to look for jobs during February.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in February a year ago stood at 9.8 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 240,670 Virginians was looking for jobs in February out of a total state workforce of 4,189,260, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.7 percent, 2.4 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 8.1 percent.

Nationwide 12,500,000 Americans were unemployed in February out of a total work force of 154,727,000, according to figures released Wednesday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in all neighboring Virginia counties decreased slightly in February.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate decreased to 9.9 percent, down eight-tenths of a percent from January’s 10.7 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased three-tenths of a percent to 8.1 percent, down from January’s unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.

Campbell County’s rate decreased five-tenths of a percent to 5.7 percent in February, down from the 6.2 percent rate in January.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate decreased eight-tenths of a percent to 9.8 percent, down from January’s rate of 10.6  percent, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for February decreased to 6.8 percent, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from the 7.5 percent reported in December.

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 15.4 percent, down 1.5 percent from January’s 16.9 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 9.7 percent, down 1 percent from the 10.7 percent reported in January.

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

 A total of 17 Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in January, VEC officials said.

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in January included Covington City at 10 percent, Bedford City at 10.1, Northampton County at 10.1, Pulaski County at 10.1, Lancaster County at 10.1, Dickenson County at 10.2, Brunswick County at 10.4, Richmond at 10.4, Northumberland County at 10.8, Lexington City at 11.1, Page County at 11.2, Emporia at 11.3, Franklin City at 11.5, Grayson County at 11.6, Petersburg at 11.8, Williamsburg at 13.6 and Martinsville at 15.4.