CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that the number of West Virginians who have jobs is now the highest it’s been in more than a decade.
West Virginia’s total employment of 763,000 for October 2019 is the highest jobs total seen in the state since January 2009, according to data from WorkForce West Virginia
“These gains are diversified across more than 20 industries; whether it be from high-tech, to tourism, and on and on,” Gov. Justice said. “We really decided to invest in order to bring things to West Virginia and to make things happen and now they are truly happening.”
The Governor made the announcement, alongside West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts, during a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday.
The employment data shows that West Virginia has added more than 19,000 new jobs in the past year alone.
“It’s happened because we have less regulations, we’ve got lower taxes, we’ve had a significant cut in our corporate net income tax,” Gov. Justice said. “You’ve got so many creative things that are happening here in West Virginia, it’s unbelievable.”
“We’re on track for our best year since 2008,” Roberts said. “If this job trend continues, we could be at an all-time jobs high by late next year.
“What we’ve seen, as we’ve been tracking progress in 2019, is that West Virginia really has some astounding numbers,” Roberts continued. “We think the week of Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and give thanks for the blessings that we have in this wonderful state…and among the things that we can be thankful for are the creation of many new jobs.”
Roberts added that there remains room to grow, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 unfilled jobs still available across the state.
“I would say, if you’re out of state, and you have skills, come here; we need you,” Roberts said.
“We see a team of people working together, listening to the needs of employers, and responding appropriately to help create a climate that allows West Virginia to create jobs and we now are knocking on the door of what might be record employment in our state.”
“There’s so much that’s right at our fingertips,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve finally dug ourselves out of the unbelievable hole we had when I walked in the door and now you’re seeing a real difference.”