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TWC: Polk Co. unemployment at 10%


AUSTIN — While Polk County’s unemployment rate showed improvement in the latest report from the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of jobless workers climbed from November to December, bucking the statewide trend. The labor force shrank by 196 workers and the number of jobs declined by 151 from 16,483 to 16,332, according to the December report. The number of workers listed as unemployed by TWC dropped by 45 from 1,864 to 1,819. In December 2009, Polk County unemployment was reported at 9.9 percent with a labor force of 18,026 with 16,237 employed and 1,789 unemployed. Jobless rates in surrounding counties include: • San Jacinto County 10.7 percent • Trinity County 8.8 percent • Tyler County 10.7 percent Texas’ total nonfarm employment was up by 20,000 jobs in December, representing the addition of 230,800 jobs since December 2009. At 8.3 percent for December, the Texas unemployment rate remains well below the 9.4 percent U.S. unemployment rate for December. Annual job growth in Texas is also strong at 2.3 percent, as compared to the U.S. growth rate of 0.9 percent. “The annual job growth rate in Texas has steadily risen every month during the past 12 months and now stands at 2.3 percent for December,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “At the same time, Texas employers added jobs and our state ended the year with an increase of 218,200 jobs since January.” Goods-Producing industries showed strong gains in December with Construction adding 8,700 positions for a total of 32,300 jobs added over the year; Manufacturing adding 3,100 jobs for a total of 28,000 jobs added over the year; and Mining and Logging adding 1,400 jobs for a total of 29,400 jobs added over the year. “Texas job growth across many industries offers employment opportunities for Texas workers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “Staff at TWC and at more than 245 Workforce Solutions offices across the state stand ready to assist those job seekers who remain unemployed. Leisure and Hospitality reported its second consecutive month of job gains with the addition of 6,600 positions in December, up by 25,000 jobs since December 2009. Additionally, Other Services, which includes automotive, computer, office machine and appliance repair and maintenance, and service industries such as barber shops, funeral homes and business associations, increased by 3,400 jobs in December. “The Texas labor force expanded for the fourth consecutive month, currently at more than 12.2 million individuals,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. “Job growth in the Goods- Producing industries was positive, with annual growth rates of 14.8 percent in Mining and Logging, 5.8 percent in Construction and 3.4 percent in Manufacturing.” The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest December unemployment rate in the state at 4.9 percent. The Amarillo MSA had the second lowest unemployment rate in December at 5.3 percent, followed by the Lubbock MSA at 5.8 percent (not


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