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Posted February 21, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Dec. labor market down 1,100 jobs

WINCHESTER -- The top of Virginia labor market lost 1,100 jobs in the 12 months ended in December as the recession tightened its grip on the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

According to a report from the Virginia Employment Commission, the Winchester metro area, which includes Hampshire County, W.Va., shed 700 jobs in manufacturing, construction and mining, 800 in trade and transportation, and 400 in services. The only sector that posted employment gains during the period was total government.

Recent factory layoffs and a poor retail holiday season contributed to the overall decline. The 1.9 percent drop was the largest among Virginia metro areas, just behind Charlottesville's 1.8 percent.

Harrisonburg (1.4 percent), Lynchburg (1.2 percent) and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (1 percent) were the only regions of the state to see job growth during the period.

Winchester-area unemployment began a steady climb in the fall, reaching 6.4 percent in December, its highest rate since January 1994.

-- Daily Staff Report

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