CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly to 5.8% in April, the state announced this week.
The rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to the lowest rate since March 2020 when it was at 5.3%. The rate jumped to a high of 15.6% in April 2020 as employers temporarily closed their doors during the pandemic but has fallen steadily since.
In an effort to spur more people to go back to work, Republican Gov. Jim Justice said the state will end its additional pandemic-era boost for unemployment benefits on June 19, including the additional $300 a week for those without a job.
He said the state is considering a program that would pay a $1,000 bonus for unemployed people who go back to work. It would require the employer agreeing to pay half of the bonus, with the state covered the other half.
The number of unemployed West Virginians fell by 1,500 in April, a lower number than in March. There are 45,800 unemployed state residents, WorkForce West Virginia said in a statement.
Employment gains were led by 1,400 in leisure and hospitality, up from March. There were employment declines of 200 in construction, 400 in trade, transportation, and utilities and 100 in education and health services.