Jobless rates up in region
Every locality in the region that includes Patrick County had an increase in unemployment from April to May, according to a report from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
Patrick County's jobless rate rose from 5.6% in April to 6.1% in May--which was still an improvement over the rate of 6.5% in May of 2014.
Patrick had a total civilian labor force of 7,768 in May, with 7,298 people employed and 475 unemployed.
In contrast, the total civilian labor force was 7,670 in April, with 7,242 people employed and 428 unemployed.
The city of Martinsville, after breaking its several-years streak of having the highest jobless rate in the state, was still high at 9.7%, but was no longer in double digits in May. Martinsville's April rate was 9.4%.
The highest May rates were reported by Buchanan County, 11.2%; Petersburg, 10.3%; and Dickenson County, 10.2%.
Patrick's neighboring localities reported the following unemployment rates for May: Henry County, 7.4% (up from 6.8% in April); Carroll County, 5.9% (up from 5.6%); the city of Danville, 8.8% (up from 8.3%); Floyd County, 4.3% (up from 3.8%); Franklin County, 5.2% (up from 4.7%); and Pittsylvania County, 5.9% (up from 5.6%).
The commonwealth of Virginia had a jobless rate of 5% in May, while the United States' rate was 5.3%.
The jobless rate reflects only the percentage of people who are receiving unemployment benefits, not those who have stopped looking for work or who are no longer eligible for benefits.