Employment numbers for Hampshire County keep hitting new highs.
The unemployment rate for the county remained a low 3.4 percent for the 2nd month in a row, Workforce West Virginia estimated, but that figure is only part of the story.
Both the number of people in the labor pool and the number of people here working reached new records.
Workforce WV showed 11,130 people either working or looking for work, the 2nd month in a row that the total has exceeded 11,000. Hampshire County has never before had that large a labor pool.
The number of employed increased to 10,750 from 10,720 in September. Again, both represent all-time highs for Hampshire.
Just one year ago, the county’s number of people employed topped 10,000 for the 1st time.
West Virginia’s unemployment rate stood at 4.8 percent in October, up a 10th of a point from September. Economists consider anything below 5 percent as full employment.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 500 and the number of unemployed statewide was down 2,100, but a larger number of people looking for work led to the rise in the statewide unemployment rate.
Jefferson County again led the state with a 2.8-percent unemployment rate. Hampshire ranked 5th behind Jefferson, Jackson, Pendleton and Berkeley counties.
Calhoun County in the middle of the state had an 11.4-percent unemployment rate, the only county above 10 percent.
Unemployment increased in 49 counties and remained the same in Hampshire and the other 5 counties.