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Job Growth slow in West Virginia

October 2nd, 2015 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia University researchers are forecasting continued high unemployment in West Virginia. The WVU College of Business and Economics released its annual West Virginia Economic Outlook report Thursday at a conference in Charleston.

Fueled by a decline in the coal industry, West Virginia's unemployment rate in August was at 7.6 percent, the highest in the nation. Gains in the state's oil and gas industry failed to offset job losses in the coal industry, the report said.

The state unemployment rate is expected to remain at or above 7 percent through early 2016 before falling under 6 percent by 2019, the report said. Job growth is estimated to increase by an average of 0.5 percent annually through 2020, far below the expected growth nationally of 1.2 percent.

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