More troubling in terms of West Virginia's competitive prospects are the job losses that have come with declining production — and increasing automation. Overall unemployment in May was percent, in line with the national average. But that is likely because so many West Virginians have left the workforce — some 3,000 in the last year alone, according to the . Bureau of Labor Statistics . The state is 1 of only 4 that lost jobs last year, down by nearly 1 percent. Once again, the clear culprit is coal. Mining employment is down 40 percent in just the past five years, with some parts of the state losing as many as 70 percent of their coal mining jobs.