EDITORIAL: West Virginia’s Unemployment Now at Record Lows According to Governor

Courtesy Office of the Governor.

By John Clise

According to a recent press release from Gov. Jim Justice, he announced “that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent for February 2022; breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 5th consecutive month.”

Well, if that’s indeed true, that’s great news for the Mountain State. The national unemployment rate is 3.8 percent.

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rates have broken the all-time state record for the past five months:

  • Oct. 2021: 4.3%
  • Nov. 2021: 4.3%
  • Dec. 2021: 4.3%
  • Jan. 2022: 4.1%
  • Feb. 2022: 3.9%

I must say it is definitely curious with all of these statistics pointing to such low unemployment to still hear people say other people won’t work because of all government “freebies” or because of laziness. It seems like it must be the opposite with such a low unemployment rate statewide. People must be working.

I am unaware of any additional unemployment payments being made to anyone now in regard to the pandemic in West Virginia.

Apparently, with this record low unemployment, people must be working somewhere. And with this surplus of unfilled jobs, it seems people should have no trouble finding a job… unless, of course, it’s just a smoke screen to cover up the possibility West Virginia’s economy is not popping all that well.

The other excuse I’ve heard over and over again is “everyone is on drugs and can’t pass a drug test.” I will file that with all of the other jokes I’ve heard in my life that failed to get a laugh.

According to the Governor’s press release, the number of unemployed state residents decreased by 1,400 in February, while total employment grew by 2,000 over the month.

Even with these increases we are still pounded nearly daily by uninformed citizens and elected officials screaming from the highest hill the fact jobs are going unfilled because people don’t want to work. It’s difficult to believe people aren’t working with such a low unemployment rate. Elected officials making these baseless accusations should get together with the Governor to get their story straight to educate their constituents, unless, of course, keeping them ignorant and scared is the end game.

Given that knowledge is power, and facts can’t be denied perhaps this false narrative propaganda about people being too lazy to work or being on illegal narcotics being spewed forth is just intended to keep people in the dark.

An educated, informed citizenry is a dangerous proposition to those wanting to hold on to their slim grasp of power. When we are educated and informed, we will no longer fall victim to baseless fear, misinformation and flat out lies.

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