Associated Press Published

Slow Job Growth Predicted in West Virginia Through 2020

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University

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.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate in August was at 7.6 percent, the highest in the nation. The report says the unemployment rate is expected to remain at or above 7 percent through early 2016 before falling under 6 percent by 2019.

According to the report, jobs growth in West Virginia is estimated to increase by an average of 0.5 percent annually through 2020, far below the expected growth nationally of 1.2 percent.

The report says only 53 percent of the state’s adult population is working or looking for work, the nation’s lowest rate of labor force participation.