Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7 percent for December 2021, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the third consecutive month.
December’s rate of 3.7 percent bested the previous state record of four percent, set just one month prior in November 2021, he said.
“When you think about what we’ve accomplished over the past three months with our unemployment rate, it’s unbelievable,” the governor said.
“We shattered the all-time record. Then we came back and did it again the next month. And now we’ve shattered it all over again this month.
“We’ve broken the state record every month for a quarter of a year now,” Gov. Justice continued. “This is no fluke. This proves without a shadow of doubt that the rocket ship ride I promised is real, and it’s happening.”
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 20 straight months.
For the 10th straight month, West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains better than the national unemployment rate.
The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 2,700 in December, while total employment grew 1,600 over the month.
“We are consistently raising the bar in West Virginia and I couldn’t be more proud,” Gov. Justice said. “In addition to our unemployment rate getting better and better, our revenue numbers are getting higher and higher, more and more people are visiting West Virginia, and business after business is moving in or expanding in our great state. Who wouldn’t want to be in West Virginia right now? We are on an absolute roll.
“I thank everyone who has played a part to get us to this point, but we can’t afford to slow down and be content with what we’ve achieved already. We’re going to keep working every day to make our state the very best it can be.”
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. Last month, West Virginia recorded a $124.4 million revenue surplus, bringing the total fiscal year surplus to $393.9 million in just six months.
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. Finally, 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.
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 fix them. Teachers and state employees have received their two largest pay raise 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.
Sign up to receive a FREE copy of West Virginia Explorer Magazine in your email weekly. Sign me up!