West Virginia drops interest rates for manufacturers
As has been true of many other U.S. states where manufacturing is important to the economy, West Virginia has been suffering for the past few years. From the period of December 2007 to May 2011, the state dropped from 57,900 manufacturing jobs to 49,300 – a rate of 14.9 percent, according to the Charleston Gazette.
The news source reports that in 2010 alone, a total of 1,582 jobs were lost in that sector. To make up for these alarming losses to the workforce and other issues that have plagued the industry, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority plans to cut the interest rates for loans that will be used to purchase manufacturing equipment.
David Warner, the executive director of that agency, stated that he wanted to reverse the recent trend of his organization only giving out about six loans per year for that purpose. In the past, nearly 20 loans were given to manufacturers on an annual basis to fund the acquisition of new equipment.
In total, the Development Authority plans to release $10 million in funds through these loans.
Early in 2011, the U.S. manufacturing workforce increased by an average of 35,000 jobs added per month, for the first four months of the year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.