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

Unemployment rate of 3.6% sets new state record for 7th straight month
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.6% for April 2022, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 7th consecutive month.

“This is an absolutely remarkable achievement that gets better and better to announce with each passing month as we break this record again and again,” Gov. Justice said. “It feels like the next record that we’re going to break is the record for most broken records.

“It is truly undeniable now that West Virginia is on the rocket ship ride that I promised. Every time we turn around, we’re doing something that’s never been done before.”
West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rates have broken the all-time state record for the past seven months:Oct. 2021: 4.3%Nov. 2021: 4.3%Dec. 2021: 4.3%Jan. 2022: 4.1%Feb. 2022: 3.9%Mar. 2022: 3.7%Apr. 2022: 3.6%Click here to view WorkForce West Virginia’s most recent Labor Force Summary
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased every month for two years straight – a total of 24 consecutive months.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 700 in April, while total employment grew by 1,000 over the month.

“It would be easy to take all of this success for granted, but we can’t take our foot off the gas now,” Gov. Justice said. “During good times it’s easy to forget that, before I walked in the door, our unemployment numbers were way, way higher and our state was facing a $500 million budget deficit. We’ve turned that bleak outlook into monthly job records and budget surpluses. But this miraculous turnaround didn’t happen by accident. It’s taken a lot of hard work from a lot of great people. 

“Today is a day to celebrate all that we’ve done to get us to this point, but it’s also a chance to reaffirm our commitment to getting even better, and we’ve surely set our state up for more and more success providing great paying jobs to our people,” Gov. Justice continued. “This year alone, we’ve had heaps and heaps of major economic development announcements from companies moving into or expanding in West Virginia, and these companies will be creating thousands of new jobs over the next few years in every corner of our great state.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is truly the best time ever to get a job in West Virginia!”

Gov. Justice’s Job Jumpstart Program (JJP), which provides a one-time, $1,500 payment to eligible West Virginians who get a new job and remain employed for at least eight weeks, has further incentivized many West Virginians who have not had a job for an extended period of time to return to the workforce.

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. A $253 million surplus in April 2022 alone marked the biggest single-month revenue surplus in state history. At the same time, West Virginia has achieved record-low unemployment rates.

West Virginia is finally competing on the world stage and recruiting world-class companies to our state as shown in several major economic development announcements this year. 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. 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. Omnis Building Technologies will build a $40 million, 150,000-square-foot facility in Bluefield to manufacture housing materials that will revolutionize the future of residential construction, creating 150-300 jobs in the process. Klöckner Pentaplast has announced a multimillion-dollar expansion of their West Virginia facility. PepsiCo is building a pair of new distribution facilities this year, representing a combined $32.5 million investment, while providing 185 jobs in West Virginia. Veloxint, a manufacturer of nanocrystalline metal alloys, is moving to Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd. in Triadelphia and is expected to create another 200-300 new jobs over the next four years.

Gov. Justice also announced that West Virginia reached the 2nd-highest export growth rate of any state in the nation for 2021.

Meanwhile, 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.

​​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 the state, making West Virginia one of the top states in the entire nation that people are moving into on a percentage basis.

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. West Virginia was also recently named as one of CBS’s top destinations for family vacations in 2022.