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Saving, Creating Jobs Is Priority

Gov. Jim Justice deserves credit for avoiding the kinds of business restrictions that have cost millions of Americans their jobs during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Unemployment statistics reflect the wisdom of that approach. The last federal report showed 6.4% of West Virginia’s workforce was unemployed. In neighboring Pennsylvania, where severe limits have been placed on businesses, the rate was 7.3%.

Still, the epidemic has cost many Mountain State residents their jobs. Some of those losses are permanent, as businesses simply have been unable to weather the viral storm.

During the new year, Justice and legislators should focus on preserving existing jobs and doing what the state can to help create new ones. Too many West Virginians, even if they have escaped illness, will be battling COVID-19’s financial devastation for years.

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