Under the forecast offered Thursday, unemployment is expected to average 7 percent this year. While a 5.6 percent rate would mark a significant improvement from that, and from the recession high of 8.5 percent in 2010, it's still higher than the pre-recession rate of 5 percent in November 2008.Even the economy's bright spots also have downsides. Construction, for instance, is rebounding after annual job losses averaging 3.6 percent since 2006, Speaker said. West Virginia's hospitals will face increasing pressure to consolidate because of more federal regulations, eroding cash reserves and uncompensated care that totaled $742 million in 2010, said Thomas Jones, president and chief executive of West Virginia United Healthcare System.
Forecasters Upbeat On W.Va. Economy, Except Coal
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