CHARLESTON — The executive director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse says legal reforms could help boost the state's sagging jobs numbers.

A study recently released by Workforce West Virginia, the state agency responsible for tracking employment data, shows the state lost 7,017 jobs last year. Another study ranks the state last in job creation in 2013.

“Unfortunately in 2013, West Virginia lost over 7,000 jobs, we ranked last in job creation and growth, our labor force participation rate was the lowest in the entire country, and CNBC has now ranked West Virginia near last for business," WV CALA Executive Director Greg Thomas said. "Over the last two years, our state has had one of the worst records of jobs creation in the entire country.

"Now is the time to pass legal reforms, which would cost our state virtually nothing, to attract job creators and make it easier for existing small businesses to grow and hire more people."

On Monday, Workforce West Virginia released a report showing the state lost 7,017 jobs in 2013. Thomas also noted that West Virginia ranked 48th in CNBC’s ‘America’s Top States for Business’ released Tuesday and that the most recent data from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business shows that West Virginia ranked 50th in job creation in 2013.

“Addressing West Virginia’s out-of-step civil justice system is one step to making West Virginia more attractive to job creators," Thomas said. "Two examples, West Virginia remains one of two states in the country that does not guarantee an automatic right of appeal and our joint and several liability laws are lagging compared to other states.

"Stopping abusive lawsuits filed by greedy millionaire personal injury lawyers that flood our legal system would greatly improve West Virginia’s job creation and business outlook. A few millionaire personal injury lawyers, the same ones who control our state legislature, are benefiting while many West Virginians cannot find well-paying jobs."

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