CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's unemployment rate dipped slightly in December as some people found jobs, while others left the labor force entirely.
Workforce West Virginia reported Thursday the state's unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent in December, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before.
The report said the number of state residents that were unemployed and looking for work fell 1,300 during the month; 700 found jobs, while 600 stopped looking for work. Unemployed residents who are not actively looking for work are not counted as part of the labor force.
The decline in labor force participation during the month continued a trend that had been occurring throughout 2013.
Roughly 15,000 West Virginians dropped out of the labor force between January and December last year, according to agency data. The size of the state's labor force -- now at 794,600 people -- now stands at its lowest level since 2004.