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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s unemployment rate has risen for the fifth consecutive month.

According to The Exponent Telegram (http://bit.ly/1g4dOGz ), WorkForce West Virginia on Tuesday announced that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent in June.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, West Virginia’s unemployment rate ranked last among the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. The national unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate has risen steadily since January, when it was at 5.9 percent. The hardest hit sectors last month in the state were construction and mining and logging.

WorkForce analyst Jeff Green says the state’s total employment actually increased by 2,000 from May to June, but it was not enough to accommodate everyone who entered the labor force during that time.

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