This week Governor Jim Justice announced that the average number of workers in West Virginia for the 2019 calendar year was the highest employment the state has seen in more than a decade.

“What this all boils down to is that we just had our best year of job numbers in West Virginia in more than a decade. Period,” Gov. Justice said. “This is something that all West Virginians should be proud of.”

According to a news release from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the seasonally adjusted average of employment for 2019 was 759,000.

That’s the highest employment since 2008 — when coal production was at its all-time high, according to the release.

“This impressive data proves that West Virginia is now creating jobs,” said Steve Roberts, President of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “The economic policies that have been implemented to improve West Virginia are working. The reasons for optimism are clear. West Virginians must proceed into the new decade of the 21st century with as much positivity as this report shows.”

In October 2019, West Virginia had its best single-month job total in 11 years, reaching 763,000 in total employment. That figure has improved further in the time since, reaching 765,500 in December 2019.

“These incredible numbers are more evidence of what myself and a lot of others have been saying for over a year now: that West Virginia is truly experiencing a comeback story the likes of which we’ve never seen before,” Gov. Justice added.