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Stories Added - June 2008
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County jobless rate climbs one-half percent in May
Polk County Enterprise - June 2008

AUSTIN — Polk County’s labor force shrunk by 28 workers since reports prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission in April. Of those available workers, 15,603 are currently employed, according to the TWC report. Currently 964 workers are jobless, yielding an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, up from the April rate of 5.2 percent. Texas employers now have added 238,700 jobs in the past 12 months for an annual job growth rate of 2.3 percent, compared with a 0.2 percent annual job growth rate nationally. After a record low Texas unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in April, the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent in May, up from 4.4 percent a year ago. The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in May, up from 5.0 percent in April 2008. “Job growth in Texas remained strong, outpacing the national trend,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “Despite the fact that the number of those seeking work went up this month, the Texas unemployment rate remained at historically low levels, staying below the 5.0 percent mark for nearly two years.” The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

The Amarillo and Odessa MSAs were second at 3.1 percent, respectively. The Education and Health Services industry saw the biggest job gains with 5,400 positions added in May, for an overthe- year increase of 38,500 jobs. Professional and Business Services followed with 1,700 jobs added for an industry gain of 64,500 positions in the past year. “Across nearly every industry, Texas employers added jobs at a stronger pace than the nation as a whole,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ron Lehman. “For example, our Natural Resources and Mining industry reached an annual job growth rate of 6.8 percent, followed by Professional and Business Services at 5.0 percent, and Leisure and Hospitality at 4.0 percent.” Leisure and Hospitality grew by 1,300 jobs in May, adding 38,900 positions in the past 12 months, followed by Construction, which grew by 1,100 jobs this month for an annual gain of 23,300 jobs. “The state continues to gain jobs, providing opportunities for those seeking work,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “In May, Texas recorded the largest number ever in the civilian labor force at 11.7 million people.”

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