10K unemployed people gone from WV labor stats - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

10K unemployed people gone from WV labor stats

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West Virginia's unemployment rate in July was down nearly a full percentage point from a year ago, but not because more people are working.

Rather, the difference was the number of people who are no longer counted as part of the labor force.

According to data released last week by WorkForce WV, the unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent, an improvement from 7.0 percent in July 2012. The number of people counted as unemployed fell by about 10,000 from 60,300 last year to 50,000 this year.

The total number of employed West Virginians was relatively steady, at 756,200 this July to 756,700 last year.

The difference was almost all in the number of unemployed people.

Between July 2012 and July 2013, the statewide civilian labor force has declined by nearly 10,000.

"This could be a reflection of jobseekers temporarily giving up on actively seeking employment," said Courtney S. Sisk, public information specialist for WorkForce WV.

"Several industries have yet to fully recover from their recession losses, including construction, manufacturing, and retail trade, which together in 2012 were down approximately 12,000 jobs from their 2008 pre-recession levels."