Patrick County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in March, according to reports from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
The county’s rate rose from 5.5% in February to 5.6% in March, but was lower than the March 2015 rate of 5.9%.
Patrick had a total civilian labor force of 7,427 in March, with 7,009 people employed and 418 unemployed, the VEC reported.
The county’s unemployment rate hovered in the 5% to 5.9% range during the past 12 months, with a low of 4.9% in November of 2015.
Patrick’s five-year annual average, from 2011 to 2015, was 8.1%. Its 10-year annual average, from 2006 to 2015, was 7.9%.
All of the Virginia localities neighboring Patrick County showed decreasing rates from February to March.
Carroll County’s rate dropped from 6% in February to 5.3% in March, and other counties and cities in the Southside Virginia region followed the same trend.
Those rates were: Floyd County, 4.3% in March (down from 4.7% in February; Franklin County, 4.2% (down from 4.3%); Henry County, 5.9% (down from 6.1%); the city of Martinsville, 7.6% (down from 7.7%); Pittsylvania County, 5% (down from 5.1%); and the city of Danville, 6.1% (down from 6.4%).
The state of Virginia had a jobless rate of 4.2% in March, while the national average was 5.1%.
The highest March unemployment rates were recorded in Buchanan County at 11.8% and Dickenson County at 10.2%.
The lowest rates occurred in Loudon County (3.2%) and Fairfax County (3.3%).
The jobless rate is not an indicator of all the people who are unemployed, but reflects only those who are receiving unemployment benefits, not those who are no longer looking for work or who are no longer eligible to receive benefits.