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Jefferson Co. unemployment still below state average

January 23, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County continues to show strong unemployment rates compared with the rest of West Virginia.

In December 2006, Jefferson County was one of only two counties that had unemployment rates much lower than the state average, according to WorkForce West Virginia, a division of the state Department of Commerce.

Monongalia County had a 2.3 percent unemployment rate in December, while Jefferson County had a 2.7 percent rate, the Department of Commerce said.

The state unemployment rate in December was 4.6 percent.

Jefferson County is showing an impressive unemployment rate even though the county has lost big employers.

Among those who have decided to close their Jefferson County operations are mail fulfillment center AB&C Group Inc. and Kidde Fire Fighting Inc., both of which operated in Ranson, W.Va.

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Although some jobs are leaving the county, new ones being created help keep the county's unemployment rate stable, said Jefferson County Commission member Greg Corliss, who is also a member of the Jefferson County Development Authority.

Corliss said Royal Vendors Inc. has had a significant number of new hires recently.

Royal Vendors, which operates in the Bardane Industrial Park, has grown to be one of the leaders in the manufacturing of cold-drink vending machines and employs hundreds of workers.

Berkeley County's unemployment rate in December was 4.1 percent, an improvement over its 4.3 percent unemployment rate in November.

A year ago, Berkeley County had an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent, the Department of Commerce said.

Morgan County had a December 2006 rate of 4.8 percent, which was slightly better than its November rate of 5.1 percent.

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