Federal lawsuit: Justice-owned mines racked up $4 million in fines

(Brad Davis/The Register-Herald) Governor Jim Justice speaks during the annual Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce Dinner Firday night at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is celebrating the state's unemployment rate — as of April, the rate is the lowest it has been since 2008.

"When you think back to when I walked in the door, we were in really hard times," Justice said in a press release. "To see how far we've come, to where we're getting more and more good-paying jobs every day for so many hard-working West Virginians, it's truly incredible."

According to the release, jobs rates improved in all but one West Virginia county in April.

In The Register-Herald distribution area, unemployment rates dropped considerably between March and April.

Raleigh County's rate dropped from 5.3 percent to 4.2 percent last month; Fayette County's rate dropped from 6.2 percent to 4.7 percent; Wyoming County's rate dropped from 7.5 percent to 6.3 percent; Summers County's rate decreased from 6.8 percent to 5.0 percent.

Monroe County had the regions best rate in April, 3.7 percent, down from 5.2 percent the month prior.

Greenbrier County's unemployment rate decreased from 5.6 percent in March to 4.0 percent in April, while Nicholas County decreased from 6.8 percent to 5.4 percent.

The rates presented are non-seasonally adjusted.

"We're bringing new businesses into our great state all the time and they're bringing new jobs along with them and boosting West Virginia's economy like never before," Gov. Justice said. "We have record-setting job growth and record-setting surpluses almost every month, it's a great time to work and live in West Virginia."

While Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate, total employment in that border county was down by 10 individuals, with the same being found in Wyoming County where the total employed was down by 20 individuals.

Fayette County added 250 individuals to the employment rolls in April, with Raleigh adding 490, Summers adding 110, Greenbrier adding 130 and Nicholas adding 160 individuals.

“Employers are taking advantage of the aspects of West Virginia that deliver competitive advantages for their businesses,” West Virginia Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch said in the release. “Favorable cost of doing business, access to markets and a hard-working, skilled workforce are creating momentum in West Virginia.”

-- Email: mcombs@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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