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Halifax County jobless numbers continue to improve

The jobless rate improved in Halifax County in April as the unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent, three-tenths of a percent lower than the 9 percent jobless rate in March, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released last week. 

A total of 14,604 county residents were employed out of a total labor force of 15,995. The VEC said 1,391 county residents were looking for jobs during the month. 

Halifax County’s jobless rate in April a year ago was 9.9 percent, according to VEC archive data. 

A total of 232,629 Virginians was looking for jobs out of a total state workforce of 4,319,525, according to VEC data. 

Virginia’s rate is 5.4 percentage points lower than the national jobless rate of 7.7 percent.

Nationwide, 11,910,000 Americans were unemployed in April out of a total work force of 153,905,000, according to figures released, and in May, nationwide, 12,271,000 Americans were unemployed out of a total work force of 154,998,000.

VEC data showed unemployment rates in neighboring Virginia counties all decreased in April except for two. 

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate decreased to 9.1, down four-tenths of a percentage point from March’s 9.5 percent. 

Charlotte County’s rate decreased to 8.0 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from March’s 8.3 percent rate. 

Campbell County’s rate decreased to 5.8, three-tenths of a percentage point from March’s 6.1 percent. 

The City of Danville’s jobless rate increased eight-tenths of a percent in April to 10.9 percent, up from March’s 10.1 percent, VEC officials said. 

Pittsylvania County’s rate for April decreased to 6.7 percent, down five-tenths of a percentage point from March’s 7.2 percent. 

Martinsville’s jobless rate increased to 15.7 percent, one-tenth of a percentage point up from a high of 15.6 percent in March. 

The VEC reported Henry County’s rate decreased to 9.5 percent, down four-tenths of a percentage point from March’s 9.9 percent. 

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

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

Counties with the highest unemployment rate included Martinsville, 15.7 percent; Williamsburg, 12.6 percent; Petersburg, 11.4 percent; Danville, 10.9 percent, and Emporia, 10.3 percent.