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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Polk County jobless rate surpasses nation at 9.7%
Polk County Enterprise - July 2009

AUSTIN — Polk County’s jobless rate rose nearly 1.5 percent in the last month to 9.7 percent, according to a report released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission, edging above the national rate of 9.5 percent. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in June, but remained well below the national rate of 9.5 percent. The Texas unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in May. Polk County’s labor force grew from 17,235 to 17,616 from May to June while the number of workers with jobs rose from 15,800 to 15,913. TWC reports show 1,703 unemployed in Polk County in June, up from 1,435 in May. Tyler County remains one of the highest in the Deep East Texas area with 10.2 percent unemployed in June, leaving 1,003 workers without jobs.

Angelina County is among the lowest with 9.1 percent or 3,791 without jobs. The job outlook in San Jacinto County basically mirrors Polk County with 9.6 percent unemployed. “While the national economic recession is having an adverse effect on employment here in Texas, our state unemployment rate remains far below the national rate,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “The Texas Workforce Commission remains committed to helping out-of-work Texans find new jobs.” Education and Health Services represents the strongest industry for job growth over the year with 57,300 jobs added since June 2008. The sector reported no job losses for June.

Neighboring Trinity County has an employment rate of 8.7 percent, according to the June TWC report. The Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Lubbock MSA recorded the second lowest unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, and the Midland MSA was the third lowest at 6.1 percent. Texas’ seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment fell by 40,600 jobs in June. Texas has recorded a net loss of 266,300 jobs in the past 12 months, compared with job losses of 5.7 million nationwide during the same period. Industries hardest hit were Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which dropped 21,700 jobs in June, followed by Professional and Business Services with a loss of 11,900 jobs.

“TWC has hired additional employment services staff to help Texans who are out of work at this time to find employment,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “With workforce centers and staff located across the state, jobseekers can turn to TWC and the 28 workforce boards for assistance.” Employment in Manufacturing fell by 10,300 jobs in June, and Construction dropped by 10,200 jobs. Financial Activities and Leisure and Hospitality industries recorded small gains over the month of 1,000 and 900 jobs respectively. “TWC and our workforce boards remain committed to assisting jobseekers and employers during this economic downturn,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar.



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