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More able to find work in December

The jobless rate in Halifax County continued to improve in December as residents continued to search for jobs, but the unemployment rate remained below double digits. 

The unemployment rate improved to 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in November, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

Some 14,277 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,534. The VEC said 1,257 county residents continued to look for jobs during December.

Halifax County’s jobless rate in December a year ago stood at 9 percent, according to VEC archive data.

A total of 203,510 Virginians was looking for jobs in December out of a total state workforce of 4,206,533, according to VEC data.

Virginia’s rate is 4.8 percent, 1.3 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 6.5 percent.

Nationwide 9,984,000 Americans were unemployed in December out of a total work force of 154,408,000, according to figures released Wednesday.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in most neighboring Virginia counties also decreased during December with Martinsville having the highest jobless rate — 12.4 percent —  in the commonwealth.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate in December decreased to 8.5 percent, down from November’s 8.9 percent rate.

Charlotte County’s rate decreased to 6.2 percent in December, down from 6.7 percent in November.

Campbell County’s rate also decreased to 5.1 percent in November, down from 5.5 percent in October.

The City of Danville’s jobless rate in December decreased to 7.5 percent, down from 7.8 percent in November, VEC officials said.

Pittsylvania County’s rate for December decreased to 5.8 percent, down slightly from November’s 6 percent.

Martinsville’s jobless rate also decreased to 12.4 percent, down from November’s 13.7 percent rate.

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 7.2 percent in December, down from 7.4 percent in November.  

Only two Virginia jurisdictions had double-digit unemployment in December, VEC officials said including Martinsville at 12.4 percent and Williamsburg at 10.5 percent.