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Jobs outlook showing more improvement

More people were finding jobs in Halifax County in March as the jobs outlook continued to brighten, with the unemployment rate decreasing six-tenths of a percent from 9.3 percent in February to 8.7 percent in March, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

Some 14,338 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,696. The VEC said 1,358 county residents continued to look for jobs during March.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in March a year ago stood at 9.0 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 218,241 Virginians was looking for jobs in March out of a total state workforce of 4,209,966, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.2 percent, 2.4 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.6 percent.

Nationwide 11,815,000 Americans were unemployed in March out of a total work force of 154,512,000, according to figures released Wednesday.

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

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate decreased to 9.1 percent, down eight-tenths of a percent from February’s 9.9 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased a full percentage point to 7.1 percent, down from February’s unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

Campbell County’s rate decreased three-tenths of a percent to 5.4 percent in March, down from the 5.7 percent rate in February.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate decreased seven-tenths of a percent to 9.1 percent, down from February’s rate of 9.8 percent, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for March decreased to 6.2 percent, down six-tenths of a percentage point from the 6.8 percent reported in February.

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 14.4 percent, down 1 percent from February’s 15.4 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 8.9 percent, down eight-tenths of a percent from the 9.7 percent reported in February.

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

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

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in March included Grayson County at 10 percent; Lexington at 10.4 percent; Petersburg at 11.2 percent; Williamsburg at 11.7 percent; and Martinsville at 14.4 percent.