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Jobless rate still in double digits

The jobless rate in Halifax County remained bleak in August as residents continued to search for jobs, and the unemployment rate remained in double digits. 

The unemployment rate showed a very slight decrease from 10.4 percent in July to 10.3 percent in August, one-tenth of a percent lower, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Monday.

Some 13,279 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 14,800. The VEC said 1,521 county residents continued to look for jobs during August.

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

A total of 234,269 Virginians was looking for jobs in August out of a total state workforce of 4,216,036, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.6 percent, 1.7 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.3 percent.

Nationwide 11,462,000 Americans were unemployed in August out of a total work force of 155,971,000, according to figures released Monday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties decreased in some counties but increased in one during August with Martinsville having the highest jobless rate — 14.6 percent —  in the commonwealth.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in August decreased to 10.1 percent, a half of a point from July’s 10.6 percent.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased a half of a point to 7.9 percent, down from July’s unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.

Campbell County’s rate also decreased by a half of a point to 5.7 percent in August, down from the 6.2 percent rate in July.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate in August decreased seven-tenths of a percent to 10.2 percent, down from July’s rate of 10.9 percent, VEC officials said.

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

Martinsville’s jobless rate increased to 14.6 percent in August, up 1.7 percent from July’s 12.9 percent.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 8.7 percent in August, down seven-tenths of a percent from the 9.4 percent reported in July.

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

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in May included Martinsville at 14.6 percent; Williamsburg at 11.3 percent; Emporia at 11.2 percent; Dickenson at 10.7 percent; Halifax and Brunswick at 10.3 percent each; Danville at 10.2 percent; Mecklenburg at 10.1 percent; and Petersburg at 10 percent.