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Stories Added - May 2010
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Jobless rate drops below 10%

Polk County Enterprise

AUSTIN – Polk County’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 10 months during April when local jobless figures fell to 9.6 percent. The 9.6 percent rate for April is down from the revised 9.9 percent figure posted for March. It also is the lowest monthly rate recorded for the county since an identical 9.6 percent was listed for June 2009. According to figures posted by the Texas Employment Commission (TWC), the new 9.6 percent rate translates to mean that out of an estimated labor force of 18,534 people, there were 1,779 workers looking for work during the month. The March report listed an estimated labor force of 18,384 with 1,822 searching for jobs. The latest rate is well below the 10.8 percent jobless rate posted by TWC for Polk County in January. While the local jobs picture was improving, the unemployment rates listed for most adjoining counties also were falling. Tyler County’s rate fell from 10.9 percent in March to 10.4 percent in April while Angelina County’s numbers fell from 8.5 to 8.3 percent during the two month period. Trinity County’s rate dropped slightly from 9.1 to 9.0 percent and San Jacinto County’s jobless figure dropped from 10.1 percent to 9.7 percent. The only neighboring county that did not see a drop was Liberty County to the south, which held steady at 10.9 percent during both March and April. Statewide, total nonagricultural employment grew for the fourth consecutive month gaining 32,500 jobs in April, according the TWC report. Texas employers have added 79,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010 and the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.3 percent in April, up from 8.2 percent in March. It continued to trend well below the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April of 9.9 percent. The Texas Civilian Labor Force grew by another 51,000 workers in April meaning more Texans are employed than ever before at 11.2 million workers. “The employment results were mixed in Texas for the month of April. While the unemployment rate in our state increased from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent, we did experience job growth in a number of industries,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “Texas had employment gains in such sectors as construction, mining and logging along with manufacturing.” Construction employment displayed impressive growth in April with an increase of 10,600 jobs. Mining and logging grew for the third consecutive month with 2,800 jobs added in April and manufacturing employment increased by 700 jobs. “The Texas labor force is expanding at a record pace, and there is stiff competition for all these new jobs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “Texans searching for work can look to TWC for assistance at workforce centers across the state and on WorkInTexas.com.” Education and health services employment recorded gains of 14,800 positions in April for a total of 65,400 jobs over the past year. Employment in professional and business services increased for the fourth month in a row, gaining 7,900 jobs in April. Other services employment grew by 7,500 jobs and financial activities added 500 jobs in April. “Texas employers added jobs in eight of 11 industries in April, offering opportunities to a diverse pool of job seekers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. “TWC and the 28 workforce boards are committed to connecting Texas workers with available jobs.”


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