ARBEJDSFORCE WV DIRECTOR PROVIDES UPDATES ON THE JOB JUMP START PROGRAM, LABOR PARTICIPATION RATE
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice also joined Workforce West Virginia Director Scott Adkins, who began his remarks by providing an update on the governor’s new Job Jumpstart program, which provides a one-time payment of $ 1,500 to eligible West Virginians who get a new job and remain employed for at least eight weeks.
“The primary purpose of Jumpstart is to get people back into the workforce,” Adkins said. “We have employers looking for WorkForce every day, looking for skilled workers, looking for people who have technical skills.
“There are lots of jobs out there. We see signs in every community when you travel around West Virginia,” Adkins continued. “To put that in perspective, in January 2022, West Virginia had 50,000 job postings. At the same time, we had 34,800 unemployed – that’s 1.4 job vacancies for every unemployed West Virginian.
“So under the governor’s leadership, we launched our new Job Jumpstart program, and I could go on and on about how successful this program has been in just a short period of time.”
Last week, WorkForce West Virginia announced that over 12,500 West Virginians have been approved to participate in the program.
Adkins went on to say that the program is crucial to improving civilian labor force participation in West Virginia.
“Overall, West Virginia’s labor force participation has increased nearly 2% since 2015. However, it has remained relatively static since 2019, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Adkins said. “When you get detailed in some of the data to find out which age groups we lag behind the national average, 16 to 24 is a huge group that is not working, which should work, as well as people over 50 years.
“The state lost approximately 46,000 residents from 2012 to 2022, further reducing the population available for work. West Virginia’s job demand has grown significantly over the past decade, from an average of 22,167 monthly job postings in 2011 to an average of over 56,000 monthly job postings in 2021, “Adkins continued.” One of the problems we face with our workforce participation is that because we are surrounded by five different states, 13.1% of West Virginians are eligible to work. work, in another state. The national average is 3.1 per cent.
“Under Governor Justice’s leadership, the State Workforce Development Board has put together a strong team of executives from business, the state government and other organizations to strengthen West Virginia’s workforce development system. So we truly believe we will be able to improve some of these numbers.”