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West Virginia's Employment Woes - 9/4/15

Only one state has lost jobs over the past year – Maryland’s neighbor to the West – West Virginia.  According to data recently released by the Labor Department, West Virginia was alone in terms of having lost a statistically significant number of jobs between July of twenty fourteen and July of twenty fifteen. 

The state lost more than nineteen thousand jobs during that period, representing a two point five percent decline in employment.  The thirty five other states that posted a statistically significant change in employment all generate notable gains, including Maryland.  Coal industry dynamics are at the heart of West Virginia’s employment woes. 

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, mining companies like Murray Energy Corporation and Alpha Natural Resources have been shedding jobs as coal prices have fallen by roughly fifteen percent over the past year.  Jobs in construction and manufacturing have declined by twenty three percent and sixteen percent, respectively, over the course of the last few years.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.