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Unemployment drops to lowest in four years

By Sally Voth

Unemployment statewide is at its lowest level in four years, according to Gov. Bob McDonnell.

At 5.5 percent, unemployment figures haven't been this low since December 2008, when it stood at 5.3 percent, according to a news release from the governor's office. It states that rate is the lowest in the Southeast part of the country, and the second lowest east of the Mississippi River.

"Today, more Virginians are back to work than at any time during the past four years. This is great news. It means more Virginia families have financial security, that Virginia businesses are continuing to grow, and that our pro-business, low regulation, and conservative fiscal policies are positively affecting Virginia's economy," the governor stated in the release. "Our bipartisan work is getting results."

McDonnell hopes that the General Assembly will work to encourage more job creation and private sector investment.

The governor also took the opportunity to tout his transportation plan.

"Nothing is more important in this effort than passing a transportation funding plan that will ensure Virginia has the resources necessary to build and sustain the 21st century transportation system that is so critical to future economic development and job creation," he states in the release.

Donna Holloway, manager of the Virginia Employment Commission office overseeing Winchester and Frederick, Warren and Clarke counties, said she'd noticed the job growth, and said a number of new companies -- which she wouldn't disclose -- are coming to the area.

"It looks really good," Holloway said. "The unemployment rate has gone down quite a bit. We're way below 6 percent now."

She said about four companies are coming to the area or expanding their operations in the region. This includes distribution centers, according to Holloway.

"The economic future of this area looks really good," she said. "Things are looking much better."

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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