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County jobless rate brightens in October

The jobless rate in Halifax County brightened a bit in October as residents continued to search for jobs, but the unemployment rate no longer remained in double digits. 

The unemployment rate improved to 8.9 percent, up from the double digit percentages from the summer months, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Thursday.

Some 14,300 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,705. The VEC said 1,405 county residents continued to look for jobs during October.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in October a year ago also stood at 8.9 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 233,579 Virginians was looking for jobs in October out of a total state workforce of 4,218,336, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 5.5 percent, 1.5 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7 percent.

Nationwide 10,773,000 Americans were unemployed in October out of a total work force of 154,918,000, according to figures released Thursday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties also decreased during October with Martinsville having the highest jobless rate — 12.5 percent —  in the commonwealth.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in October decreased to 9.4 percent, down from the double digits of August and July.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased to 7.2 percent in October.

Campbell County’s rate also decreased to 5.5 percent in October, down from 5.7 percent in August and the 6.2 percent rate in July.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate in October decreased to 8.6 percent, down from 10.2 percent in August and 10.9 percent in July, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for October decreased to 6.3 percent, down from 6.8 percent in August and 7 percent reported in July.

Martinsville’s jobless rate decreased to 12.5 percent in October, down from 14.6 percent in August and 12.9 percent in July.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 7.9 percent in October, down from the 8.7 percent in August and 9.4 percent reported in July.

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

Counties and cities with the highest unemployment rate in October included Martinsville at 12.5 percent; Williamsburg at 12 percent; Lexington at 11.7 percent; Emporia at 11.2 percent; and Bristol City at 10.6 percent.