Unemployment

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice says some West Virginians on unemployment will be able to receive an extra $400 weekly benefit.

Because of a congressional stalemate over another coronavirus relief package, an additional benefit of $600 expired on Aug. 1. The following week, President Donald Trump took executive action and called for states to cover $100 of an additional $400 to those on unemployment.

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore a couple contentious topics. We look at the impacts of Confederate monuments standing in our region, and we hear a report on Universal Basic Income and whether it could be one answer as residents in West Virginia experience unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an update from Gov. Jim Justice who is warning of mandating face masks in public. Also, in this show, we hear how colleges and universities in the state are reacting to financial challenges brought on by COVID-19; we hear the latest on the unprecedented numbers of unemployment claims in the region; we hear about a federal spending bill that may help improve infrastructure in coal-reliant communities, and we hear this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Ohio Valley Weekly Unemployment Claims Down Slightly To 82K

Jun 4, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

As the Ohio Valley continues its phased-in reopening, unemployment insurance claims are down slightly compared to the week before. The region is still reporting high levels of unemployment assistance applications.

At least 82,011 people in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia joined those seeking help during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio Valley Unemployment Claims Exceed 100,000

May 28, 2020
Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

As some businesses in the Ohio Valley reopen and welcome back both customers and employees the region continues reporting high levels of unemployment claims.

At least 100,863 people in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia joined those seeking help during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic..

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore how the coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for college graduates as they enter an uncertain job market. We also hear a report from Ohio County as some organizations there have come together to find creative ways to feed students in the area.

New college graduates will likely have job interviews over video conferencing programs like Zoom or Skype, a trend experts say may continue even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
Adobe Stock

Unemployment across the nation is at an all-time high with millions of Americans out of work. In West Virginia, more than 160,000 residents have filed for unemployment since mid-March, according to state officials on May 14

This has many new college graduates concerned as they try to navigate a now limited job market. While there may be valuable lessons new grads can learn through the pandemic, it will also be a challenging road ahead for some. 

Another 99,000 Join Unemployed In Ohio Valley As U.S. Jobless Total Tops 38M

May 21, 2020
Courtesy Bytemarks via Creative Commons.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported close to 99,000 additional unemployment insurance claims in the last week from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, as state unemployment offices worked their way through a backlog of millions of claims filed since the coronavirus pandemic forced business closures beginning in March.

Stradwick's Fade Cave Facebook Page

Across the U.S., some states, including West Virginia, are beginning to loosen restrictions meant to reduce the spread of coronavirus, allowing for some non-essential businesses to reopen. 

On Monday, May 4, West Virginia entered the second week of Gov. Jim Justice’s six-week reopening plan, “The Comeback.” During week two, businesses with fewer than 10 employees, salons and barber shops, dog grooming services, and outdoor dining restaurants are allowed to reopen. Churches and other places of worship are allowed to conduct funerals and other services with limited gathering sizes. 


On this West Virginia Morning, we visit a music camp in Whitesburg, Kentucky that is empowering young people. We also hear an update about unemployment numbers across the Ohio Valley during this coronavirus pandemic, and we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit Charleston’s historic Triangle District, a community forever changed by urban development. We also bring you an update from the Ohio Valley region on unemployment claims filed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

region1workforcewestvirginia.org

West Virginia has received two federal grants to help with infrastructure and workforce projects in the state.

More than $2 million was awarded to Workforce West Virginia through the National Dislocated Worker Grant for programs to help out-of-work coal miners.

West Virginia Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary Ed Gaunch speaks with reporters in a virual press conference on March 26, 2020.
WV Governor's Office

West Virginians applying for unemployment benefits online could experience intermittent outages because the number of businesses closing or scaling back operations due to the coronavirus outbreak has sent claims surging, the state's commerce chief said Thursday.

Is Unemployment For Women At Lowest Point In Almost 70 Years?

Oct 1, 2019
In this Thursday, March 3, 2016, file photo, Georgia Department of Labor services specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps a woman with a job search on a computer at an unemployment office in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press file photo

The West Virginia Republican Party recently tweeted praise for President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy, particularly as it relates to women.

On Aug. 27, the state party tweeted, "Women’s unemployment has been lower under President Trump than it’s been in nearly 70 years. #WVGOP #WomenforTrump #WV4Trump."

Has Unemployment Not Fallen under Gov. Jim Justice?

Feb 5, 2019
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Unemployment has fallen across the country in recent years. But the West Virginia Democratic Party said in a recent tweet that it hasn’t fallen on Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s watch.

In a Jan. 9 tweet, the state party wrote, "FACT: Unemployment rate has not decreased since @WVGovernor took office. #wvpol #WVSOTS19"

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment rates rose in 39 of West Virginia's 55 counties in October.

WorkForce West Virginia says unemployment rates dropped in Clay and Pendleton counties and was unchanged in 14 other counties.

Appalachian Regional Commission

A new economic report from the Appalachian Regional Commission shows that across Appalachia, communities are starting to rebound. But in West Virginia, that’s not the case. 


Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

An annual Eastern Panhandle Economic Outlook conference was held in Martinsburg, showing job growth is steady in the Eastern Panhandle and is expected to grow in the coming years.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

 


Several organizations throughout Appalachia will see federal grant money. Funds are designed to help strengthen coal-impacted economies.

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced nearly $2 million additional dollars this week for regions in Appalachia that have been affected by job losses related to the declining coal industry.

 

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since November 2008.

WorkForce West Virginia says the rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.9 percent in March. The number of unemployed residents fell by 2,300 to 38,100.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen four-tenths of a percentage point to 5.2 percent in February.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed residents fell by 3,300 to 40,300. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1,700.

Ed Evans
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Courtesy Patrol is a state funded roadside assistance service. But as members in the House continue to look for places to cut to balance the 2018 budget, delegates have set their sights on the program’s $5 million budget.

The courtesy patrol has been around for almost 20 years. It’s a non-profit of the Citizens Conservation Corp through a contract with the West Virginia Division of Highways.To-date, the patrol has received over 3 million calls and employs nearly 100 people.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia officials say the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment has fallen slightly.

Officials say the rate dropped to 5.6 percent in January, with 43,500 unemployed residents. The national unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate has approved a bill that changes the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits for striking workers. 

The chamber approved Senate Bill 222, 22 to 11, with one Senator absent on Wednesday.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment rates rose in 20 of West Virginia's 55 counties in December.

WorkForce West Virginia says the unemployment rate fell in 31 counties and was unchanged in four others.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly in December to 5.9 percent.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed residents dropped by 1,100 to 46,800.

Jessica Lilly

The economy in southern West Virginia is suffering due to the collapsing of the coal industry and it’s not hard to find reports of layoffs. But an international coal company called ArcelorMittal Princeton is expanding operations at a McDowell County mine bringing 50 to 75 jobs back to the region.


Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment rates dropped in 48 of West Virginia's 55 counties in November.

WorkForce West Virginia says the unemployment rate rose in Calhoun, Pocahontas and Roane counties and was unchanged in four others.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment increased in West Virginia in October but has declined over the past year.

The state said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 6 percent, with an increase of 2,400 unemployed residents, bringing the total to 47,900.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 5.7 percent.

WorkForce West Virginia said in a news release Tuesday that the number of unemployed state residents dropped by 200 last month to 44,800.

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