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Report: Jobs and Workforce Participation on Decline in W.Va.

West Virginia University

A West Virginia University professor says the 2016 economic outlook for the state of West Virginia is bleak. That is unless lawmakers begin to make some changes.

WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director, John Deskins, presented his 2016 economic outlook to members of the state legislature Wednesday.

Deskins says over the past three years, West Virginia has lost more than 8,000 jobs, giving the state one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

On top of the high jobless rate, West Virginia also has a workforce participation rate significantly below the national average. According to WVU, only 53 percent of West Virginia adults are either working or actively looking for work.

Deskins says he hopes his report shows lawmakers that now is the time to make significant changes in West Virginia.

“So, our leaders should go away with a sense of urgency cause we may be at a turning point with energy and we have to find solutions today to make West Virginia attractive to potential businesses and to make our workers more attractive through better education, through better health outcomes, through better education, through alleviating the drug epidemic and so on,” Deskins said.

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