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Unemployment rate of 3.7% sets new state record for 6th straight month

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% for March 2022, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 6th consecutive month.

“West Virginia has been around for a long time – over 158 years. To set an all-time state record in any category one time is an achievement worth celebrating. But to break the all-time state record not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times, BUT SIX TIMES is unheard of,” Gov. Justice said.

“At this point, even the strongest doubters who refused to believe in West Virginia have got to see the goodness going on in our state,” Gov. Justice continued. “You can’t even say that this record is simply the result of us bouncing back from the pandemic, because our unemployment rate is more than one full percentage point below our best mark of 2019. This isn’t a fluke. This isn’t a one-off. This is the result of a lot of great work by a lot of great people to provide life-changing jobs to more and more West Virginians every day.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is literally the best time in state history to get a job in West Virginia!”
West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rates have broken the all-time state record for the past six 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%Click here to view WorkForce West Virginia’s most recent Labor Force Summary
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 23 straight months.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 1,700 in March, while total employment grew by 2,100 over the month.

Many West Virginians have gotten a new job because of 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. Yesterday, WorkForce West Virginia announced that over 12,500 West Virginians have now been approved to participate in the program.

“A couple weeks ago, I was going through the drive thru window and I met two ladies who said they had just started back to work because of our Job Jumpstart Program,” Gov. Justice said. “I asked them, ‘Are you happy to be back to work?’ And you know what they both told me? They said, ‘You’re dadgum right!’ They were both as excited as you could possibly be. Before, maybe they had a feeling of hopelessness. But now, they are proud to be back to work.”

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. 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. PepsiCo Beverages and Frito-Lay are investing a combined $32.5 million to build a pair of new, state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facilities in West Virginia by the end of 2022, bringing dozens of additional new jobs to the state. Additionally, Klöckner Pentaplast recently announced a multimillion-dollar expansion of their West Virginia facility.

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

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.