Labor & Workforce
Jefferson County, West Virginia Labor Statistics
Jefferson County is a thriving location for businesses across a wide range of industries due in part to its desirable workforce and labor breakdown. There are more than 1,050 business establishments operating in Jefferson County. Eighty percent of these businesses are classified as service providers, and the rest represent a healthy number of trade, transportation, utility, and manufacturing companies.
This growing opportunity and Jefferson County’s location within the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area has attracted a large number of skilled individuals to Jefferson County to provide a talented and dedicated workforce pool for these companies to choose from, as well an extended labor pool of skilled, high-tech workers. Since 2009, the civilian labor force in Jefferson County and its surrounding areas has grown significantly from 508,000 to 536,000. As of October 2017, Jefferson County’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, which is substantially less than the statewide rate of 5.1 percent as well as the national rate of 4.1 percent. Jefferson County’s labor force participation rate of 66 percent exceeds the overall statewide average of 53 percent and the national average of 63 percent.
A Well-Educated West Virginia Workforce
The Jefferson County workforce is also highly educated in its own right. Forty-eight percent of the Jefferson County labor shed falls in the age range of 20 to 54, and 44 percent of its population over the age of 25 is at least some level of college educated. For businesses looking for employees with particular expertise, the nearby Blue Ridge Community and Technical College offers a number of technical and specialized certification programs that support the training needs of area employers including Business Communications, Operations, and Strategies, as well as Computer Applications, CISCO, and Machine Engineering.
Low Cost of Living, Low Wage Rates
Since personnel costs represent one of the biggest expenses for any business, Jefferson County’s low cost of living and consequently low wages offer a cost-effective option for many industry sectors. The average weekly wage for all industries in Jefferson County is almost 19 percent lower than in nearby communities in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia; for manufacturing positions, weekly wage rates in Jefferson County are 188.7 percent lower than in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland.
The county’s lower cost of living equates to lower wage rates, particularly when compared to adjacent localities in both Virginia and Maryland. Jefferson County also offers significant savings in land prices and lease rates in comparison to its neighbors in nearby Loudoun and Frederick County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland.