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W.Va. unemployment rate highest in U.S. in June

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 7.4 percent in June, marking a fifth consecutive month of rising unemployment for the state, according to data published by WorkForce West Virginia.

For June, West Virginia had the highest unemployment rate in the United States, according to updated numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate for June was 5.3 percent.

As of Tuesday, the June data for individual states shows West Virginia ranking 51st in unemployment rate, with the next highest being the District of Columbia, which registered an unemployment rate of 7 percent for June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Year over year, West Virginia has seen the steepest employment declines in construction (down 4,300 since June 2014) and in mining and logging (down 2,900 over the same timeframe).

On Tuesday, WorkForce released county-by-county unemployment figures — which are not adjusted for seasonal factors — for June. According to the WorkForce data, 46 of 55 West Virginia counties experienced a month-to-month unemployment rate increase in June.

Harrison, Taylor, Doddridge, Barbour, Upshur and Lewis Counties were among those that saw rising unemployment in June.

“It looks like the state is struggling a little bit,” said Jeff Green, director of research, information and analysis for WorkForce West Virginia. “Typically, the unemployment rates tend to go down in the summer, and they’re not doing that this year…

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