From The Intelligencer of Wheeling:
Those of us who have jobs this Labor Day can be grateful for them and, if today is a holiday, happy for a day away from the workplace. Too many of our neighbors, friends and family members have not benefited yet from the upswing in the national economy, however.
Here in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, things remain tough for a larger segment of the population than you might imagine from reading state and national reports on employment. Though the state unemployment rate was just 4.6% in July, only one of our six counties (Ohio, at 3.9%) was below that.
In fact, two of our counties, Tyler (at 7.3% unemployment) and Wetzel (6.5%) were among West Virginia’s 10 worst in terms of joblessness.
Yet our area is the very center of the natural gas and oil drilling boom in West Virginia. Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties are among the top energy producers in the state. Why on earth don’t more people in our area have jobs? …