December jobless rate up to 5.2 percent in Va.

Posted by Colby Rogers - email

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's December unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, the highest in the state since early 1996.

The Virginia Employment Commission said Thursday that December's rate was up from 4.6 percent in November, indicating that the national recession is starting to hit the state. The employment picture in Virginia is still better than in the country as a whole, which had a 7.1 percent jobless rate in December.

The Virginia rate was the highest since the 5.3 percent jobless rate of January 1996.

Nearly all of Virginia's metropolitan areas saw unemployment rise in December. Among all 134 counties and cities, Martinsville continued to have the highest jobless rate at 15.4 percent while Arlington County remained the lowest at 3.2 percent.

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