CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin gave his take on the current state of matters in West Virginia during his State of the State address last night.
For another perspective, though, let's turn to how the region's Federal Reserve bank sums up the state of the state's economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond releases monthly updates on economic conditions in the five states, plus Washington, D.C., included in its district.
Its January report, released Monday, gave a positive, though somewhat lukewarm, assessment of West Virginia's overall economy in comparison to the rest of the district and nation as a whole.
"Economic growth in West Virginia was slow but generally positive in recent months, with slight improvement in labor and housing markets as well as among state households," the report said.
The state's labor market had improved slightly on a year-over-year basis, with payroll employment growing roughly 1.2 percent, or 9,100 jobs, between November 2012 and November 2013 (the latest month for which data was available).
That was nearly in-line with employment growth for the Richmond district as a whole. But that 1.2 percent growth rate lacked the overall (and still tepid) 1.7 percent growth rate for the country.
The bad news was that it appears the growth that did occur seemed concentrated in just one pocket of the state.
The Morgantown area was the only one of the four metropolitan areas of the state that posted positive year-over-year growth, according to the Fed report.
Employment in the Morgantown area grew at 3.7 percent year-over-year while it declined 0.1 percent in Charleston and Parkersburg and 0.5 percent in Huntington.