Member's Press Release

Release Date: 07/31/2018
Contact: Mitch Carmichael, (304) 357-7801

Mitch Carmichael

Senate President Mitch Carmichael Says West Virginia is Seeing an Economic Resurgence Like Never Before

CHARLESTON – Following last week’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce that the national gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, noted that West Virginia has the fastest growing economy in the nation.

The economic resurgence under Republican leadership in Charleston has reduced unemployment by 1.4 percent since January 2015 and has resulted in the nation’s highest percentage increase in GDP and per capita personal income.

“After 83 years of a Democrat majority and policies that devastated the West Virginia economy, the Republican majority has pro-growth, fiscally sound policies that have led to an economic resurgence in West Virginia like never before,” Senate President Carmichael said. “There is an incredible economic comeback happening in the Mountain State under Republican leadership, where we have seen a substantial reduction in unemployment, and the highest year over year state GDP and per capita personal income percentage growth in the nation. After being neglected for decades, West Virginia residents and businesses are finally seeing expanded job opportunities, higher wages, and greater savings, and are discovering that the American Dream is once again attainable.”

According to the latest data from WorkForce West Virginia, when West Virginia Republicans took control of the legislature in January 2015, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent. Since then, West Virginia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3 percent, with 16,000 more citizens now employed, as of June 2018. Additionally, for four consecutive months throughout the West Virginia’s 2017 fiscal year, the unemployment rate was at a nine-year record low of 5 percent.

West Virginia experienced the largest reduction in unemployment rates in the United States, from March 2016 to March 2017, reducing by 1.4 percentage points, according to the latest public data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“While this is just the beginning, and there is more work to be done, our implementation of a strong, pro-growth Republican economic agenda has attracted more companies and investors to do business across the state, creating more economic opportunity and putting more West Virginians back to work,” Senate President Carmichael said.

In addition to a significant reduction in unemployment during the past three years, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, West Virginia also experienced the highest GDP percentage growth in the nation (year over year) from Q1 of 2016 to Q1 of 2017, at 6.48 percent. West Virginia also showed strong GDP percentage growth, year over year, in every other quarter throughout 2017, compared to other states: • 4.27 percent GDP growth from Q2 of 2016 to Q2 of 2017, ranking 12th in the nation; • 5.74 percent GDP growth from Q3 of 2016 to Q3 of 2017, ranking fifth in the nation; and, • 6.79 percent GDP growth from Q4 of 2016 to Q4 of 2017, ranking third in the nation.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the largest contributor to real GDP growth in West Virginia throughout 2017 was mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

West Virginia has also displayed substantial growth in per capita personal income, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. West Virginia had the highest per capita personal income percentage growth in the nation, year over year, from Q3 of 2016 to Q3 of 2017, at 3.4 percent, and had the second-highest per capita personal income percentage growth in the nation, year over year, from Q4 of 2016 to Q4 of 2017, at 4.92 percent.

“These positive economic results add to the significant economic progress that West Virginia has experienced since Republicans took control of the Legislature in 2015, including the highest percentage of new construction jobs created in the U.S. in 2017, which increased 14.4 percent from 2016; and the second-highest increase in gross domestic product in the nation in the first quarter of 2017, growing at a 3 percent annual rate,” Senate President Carmichael said. “However, it doesn’t stop there: According to a study by GoBankingRates, West Virginia experienced the most economic growth of any U.S. state in 2017 and had the strongest economy in the nation moving into 2018. When you pair our momentum here in West Virginia with President Trump’s leadership in Washington, it’s clear our potential is unlimited.”

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