Gov. Justice: West Virginia AGAIN breaks record for lowest unemployment rate in state history

3/1/2022

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Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate breaks the all-time state record for the 4th straight month
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.1% for January 2022; breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 4th consecutive month.

At the beginning of each year, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusts previous months’ unemployment numbers for all states based on additional data they receive throughout the prior year. This adjustment – called “benchmarking” – makes all unemployment numbers nationwide more accurate.

After accounting for these BLS adjustments, West Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped compared to December 2021 and officially set the new standard for lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in state history.
West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for the past six months, after the BLS benchmarking process, are as follows:
  • Aug. 2021: 4.8%
  • Sept. 2021: 4.6%
  • Oct. 2021: 4.3%
  • Nov. 2021: 4.3%
  • Dec. 2021: 4.3%
  • Jan. 2022: 4.1%
(Bold indicates new all-time state record)
 
“It’s hard to get tired of all this winning over and over again,” Gov. Justice said. “As Governor, my number-one responsibility is to make sure our state’s economy is doing well and to make sure our state’s people have jobs – and we are absolutely knocking it out of the park with both.

“Breaking the all-time state record unemployment rate for the fourth straight month is an unbelievable announcement on its own, but it gets even better when you realize that, just two hours ago, we announced that we also broke the all-time state record for highest revenue surplus every recorded in the month of February and the all-time state record for total surplus through the month of February.”

READ: Gov. Justice: February brings more record revenue surpluses

“We continue to prove over and over again that the rocket ship ride that I promised is happening in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice added. “It’s no fluke. We haven’t just set one new record. We’re breaking every record under the sun.”

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 21 straight months.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 1,700 in January, while total employment grew by 2,700 over the month.

Click here to view available jobs in West Virginia
Under Gov. Justice’s leadership, West Virginia continues to enjoy an unprecedented era of success and prosperity.

After inheriting a $500 million budget deficit, Gov. Justice has led the state to a string of consistent budget surpluses by using his lifelong experience as a businessman to make West Virginia a more business-friendly state and by standing behind the energy industry.

​​People are more excited than ever to be in West Virginia. From April 2010 to July 2019, more than 43,000 people moved out of the state. However, from 2020 through 2021, net migration is up in West Virginia for the first time in decades, with over 2,000 people moving into our state, making West Virginia one of the top states in the entire nation that people are moving into on a percentage basis.

West Virginia is finally competing on the world stage and recruiting world-class companies to our state as shown in three recent major announcements. Nucor Corporation announced that they selected Mason County as the location for a state-of-the-art sheet steel mill. This record investment will exceed $2.7 billion, making it the largest in West Virginia history, as well as the largest single investment Nucor has ever made. GreenPower Motor Company announced an agreement with the state to manufacture zero-emission, all-electric school buses in South Charleston, bringing hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact to West Virginia. Finally, Owens & Minor, a Fortune 500 company that provides medical supplies, is going to expand on a deal they previously had with WVU Medicine and create over 125 jobs at a healthcare products preparedness and supply center in Morgantown. 

Additionally, the Governor’s Roads to Prosperity program is the state’s largest-ever investment in road maintenance and improvement; after 50 years of neglecting its roads, the state has committed more than $2 billion dollars to fixing them. Teachers and state employees have received their two largest pay raises ever, and a third pay raise has been proposed. The state’s Rainy Day Fund now exceeds $1 billion – another record – and its public pension funds are better-funded than they have been in decades. Thanks to Gov. Justice, Veterans now live in West Virginia tax-free and senior citizens do not face state taxes on social security. The Governor has also led West Virginia through a once-in-a-century pandemic, protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens. Additionally, increased investments in the state’s tourism efforts have visitation and intrigue in West Virginia through the roof. West Virginia was recently named a top-10 travel region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet; the only state to earn this prestigious distinction and the state was also recently selected as one of the Best Places to Go by Condé Nast Traveler.

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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

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