Thanks to energy resources and a fairly constant government presence, the West Virginia job market and economy remained relatively stable during the recession compared with other states. Most West Virginia communities have stabilized and are rebounding.
West Virginia Job Opportunities
Strong demand for coal, the discovery of shale gas in some regions and new drilling technologies are fueling the West Virginia energy sector. Along with gas and coal production, West Virginia career opportunities revolve around aerospace, biometrics, the chemical and plastics industries, and technology and research supported by West Virginia University and Marshall University. With a workforce of 800,000, the Mountain State claims to have one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the country.
The government sector accounts for more than 20 percent of jobs in West Virginia, followed by the trade, transportation and utilities and education/health services sectors. Most industries have been reporting job expansion in 2012 with the construction, education/health services, professional/business services, and leisure and hospitality industries showing the strongest percentage job gains.
West Virginia Employment Trends
West Virginia job conditions are positive. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 8.5 percent in 2010, had fallen to the 7-percent range by the first half of 2012. West Virginia payrolls have shown positive growth through most of 2011 and into 2012. Online hiring continues to show strong job gains in 2012.
Moody's Analytics expects employment in West Virginia to increase 1.6 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, higher than 1.3 percent growth expected in the US job supply during that time.