Unemployment rate in Brooke and Hancock counties at its lowest level since 2010

WEIRTON, W.Va. — Last year, West Virginia made headlines as the only state with more people unemployed than employed.And it's also made headlines for being ranked 50th in states that are good to do business in.But as part of a series to debunk the numbers, NEWS 9's Ryan Eldredge met with local leaders who say there is good news for the panhandle.The unemployment rate in Brooke and Hancock counties is at its lowest level since 2010. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current 5.9 percent dwarfs the 13.3 percent from 6 years ago.No one can deny the growth in construction jobs and the overall amount of investment made in the two-county area.“You also look at the opportunities on the construction side,” said Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corporation. “The figures are up as well, and that tells people we are building facilities, and that tells people there will be more employment opportunities.”“The numbers don't even come close to what they used to be,” Weirton Mayor Harold “Bubba” Miller said. “Fourteen-thousand, so the unemployment rate is nowhere what it used to be, but we live in a geographical plus for growth.”The unemployment rate in Brooke and Hancock counties is also well below the state average.A report published by the Associated General Contractors announced that the Weirton-Steubenville metro area is third in construction job growth nationally.County leaders say the $284 million of private investment and the $7.5 million in public investment over the past several years are also a big reason for the positive trend.http://wtov9.com/news/local/unemployment-rate-in-brooke-and-hancock-counties-is-at-its-lowest-level-since-2010