CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's unemployment rate improved slightly in February, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.3 percent last month.
Workforce West Virginia reported Tuesday that the total number of employed residents increased by 1,000 during the month, rising to 750,300. The agency reported the total number of unemployed residents fell by 1,400 to 58,800 during the month.
According to Workforce data, the 750,300 total employment figure is the highest the state has seen since April 2009.
However, the state's labor force fell slightly from a four-year high set in January. The agency reported the size of the state's civilian labor force fell by 500 to 809,100 between January and February.
Both the service and goods-producing sectors saw gains during February. Goods-producing jobs increased by 1,600, led by increases of 900 jobs in the mining and timber sector and another 900 jobs in construction.
Durable goods manufacturing was off slightly for the month, with that sector declining by 300 workers.
The bulk of the gains in the service sector came from government employment. State government jobs increased by 1,600 for the month, though that was offset slightly by a loss of 800 federal government jobs last month.
The financial activities and professional and business services sectors both lost 200 jobs last month, while educational and health services jobs increased by 600 and leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 200.
Since February 2012, total employment across the state has increased by 4,200 jobs.