Gov. Jim Justice announced this week that West Virginia’s General Revenue collections for April 2022 came in at $253 million over estimate, the all-time state record surplus for any single month in West Virginia history.
“This is one of the most momentous economic announcements in the history of our state,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia is approaching its 159th birthday – that’s over 1,900 months in state history – and we’ve never, ever had a single-month surplus this high.
“It’s beyond amazing. It’s breathtaking just how good this is,” Gov. Justice continued. “The rocket ship ride is reaching speeds even the most optimistic of us maybe never even dreamed of. Over the past few months, we’ve set so many all-time state records between revenue, jobs, and more, it would be easy to lose track. But this one is worth us taking a step back to admire.”
April 2022 collections of $791.5 million were a whopping 46.6% ahead of prior year receipts.
Ten months through Fiscal Year 2022, year-to-date collections of more than $4.758 billion are $993 million above the YTD estimate; breaking the all-time state record for total surplus through the month of April.
“To put our total numbers for the year into perspective, think about this: our Rainy Day Fund was established in the early 1990’s. After 30 years of effort, we’ve just got it to the point where it’s right at $1 billion,” Gov. Justice said. “This announcement today means that our year-to-date revenue surplus, just 10 months into this fiscal year, has equaled what has taken three decades to build in the Rainy Day Fund.
“This record isn’t a one-off. 2022 has been the year of economic records in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice added.
At the same time, West Virginia has achieved record-low unemployment rates. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% for March 2022, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in West Virginia history for the 6th consecutive month.
“West Virginia has been around for a long time – over 158 years. To set an all-time state record in any category one time is an achievement worth celebrating. But to break the all-time state record not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times, BUT SIX TIMES is unheard of,” Gov. Justice said.
“At this point, even the strongest doubters who refused to believe in West Virginia have got to see the goodness going on in our state,” Gov. Justice continued. “You can’t even say that this record is simply the result of us bouncing back from the pandemic, because our unemployment rate is more than one full percentage point below our best mark of 2019. This isn’t a fluke. This isn’t a one-off. This is the result of a lot of great work by a lot of great people to provide life-changing jobs to more and more West Virginians every day.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is literally the best time in state history to get a job in West Virginia!”
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 23 straight months.
The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 1,700 in March, while total employment grew by 2,100 over the month.
Many West Virginians have gotten a new job because of Gov. Justice’s Job Jumpstart Program (JJP), which provides a one-time, $1,500 payment to eligible West Virginians who get a new job and remain employed for at least eight weeks. Yesterday, WorkForce West Virginia announced that over 12,500 West Virginians have now been approved to participate in the program.