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Figures show few are able to find work

The jobless rate in Halifax County continued to grow bleaker in July as even fewer people were able to find jobs and the unemployment rate continued to soar in double digits. 

The unemployment rate increased from 10 percent in June to 10.4 percent in July, four-tenths of a percent higher, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

Some 13,552 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,133. The VEC said 1,581 county residents continued to look for jobs during July.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in July a year ago stood at 10.5 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 250,101 Virginians was looking for jobs in July out of a total state workforce of 4,297,479, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.8 percent percent, 1.9 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.7 percent.

Nationwide 12,083,000 Americans were unemployed in July out of a total work force of 157,196,000, according to figures released Wednesday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties decreased in some counties but increased in others during July with Galax beating out Martinsville for the highest jobless rate in the commonwealth.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in July increased to 10.6 percent, up one-tenth of a percent from June’s 10.5 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased three-tenths of a percent to 8.4 percent point, down from June’s unemployment rate of 8.7 percent.

Campbell County’s rate also slightly decreased by one-tenth of a percent to 6.2 percent in July, down from the 6.3 percent rate in June.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate in July decreased two-tenths of a percent to 10.9 percent, down from June’s rate of 11.1 percent, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for July increased to 7 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage points from the 6.8 percent reported in June.

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 12.9 percent in July, down 1.1 percent from June’s 14 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate increased to 9.4 percent, up one-tenth of a percent from the 9.3 percent reported in June.

A total of 12 Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in July, VEC officials said. 

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in May included Wise County at 10 percent; Halifax at 10.4 percent; Brunswick at 10.5 percent; Mecklenburg at 10.6 percent; Petersburg at 10.7 percent; Danville at 10.9 percent; Dickenson at 11.3 percent; Emporia at 12.4 percent; Williamsburg at 12.5 percent; Lexington at 12.8 percent; Martinsville at 12.9 percent; and Galax at 16.2 percent.