(12/09/2016)
STATE GOVERNMENT DEPENDENT ON COAL IN FINANCIAL CRISIS

Age, poor health, low education keep half of W.Va. jobless by By David Gutman, Staff writer for the Sunday Gazette-Mail

Buried at the very bottom of 851 pages of recently updated federal data is a startling statistic: Less than half of working-age West Virginians are, in fact, working.

In November 2014, the most recent month for which data is available, just 49.8 percent of West Virginians older than 16 had a job, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number is called the employment participation ratio and it represents the percentage of the total population that is working. It does not distinguish between people who simply choose not to work and people who do not have a job for good reasons the elderly, students and the disabled. (The number does not count people who are in the military, jail or a nursing home.)

The plunge below 50 percent catches the eye, but it's not a big change.

West Virginia has been last in the nation in employment participation every year since the BLS began collecting state-level data in 1976 ...

READ REST OF STORY Age, poor health, low education keep half of W.Va. jobless by By David Gutman, Staff writer for the Sunday Gazette-Mail


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