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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Local jobless rate falls to 7.5%

 

LIVINGSTON – After hovering at or above 8 percent since January, Polk County's unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in October, the lowest figure so far this year. According to the latest figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the county jobless rate fell half a percentage point from September's 8.0 percent. This translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 18,089, there were 1,349 county residents looking for work during October. One month earlier, TWC's revised estimates put the local labor force at 18,173 with 1,462 looking for jobs. While the new 7.5 percent rate is down from September, it was unchanged from the 7.5 percent figure recorded for October 2012. The highest rate posted so far this year is the 8.8 rate for January. That was followed by a 8.3 percent jobless figure in February, an 8.1 percent rate in March, a 7.8 percent number in April and May, and 8.4 percent figure in June, an 8.3 rate in July and a 7.9 percent figure in August. The highest October unemployment rate recorded by TWC since 2000 was the 9.8 percent figure posted in 2009. The lowest was 5.4 percent recorded in both 2000 and 2007. Statewide, October's actual unem ployment rate of 6.0 percent was down from September's 6.3 percent and the 6.2 percent jobless figure recorded in October 2012. When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state's October adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 6.2 percent, which was down slightly from the 6.3 percent figure recorded for September. The latest seasonally adjusted rate, however, was down from the 6.4 percent figure posted in October 2012. The actual national unemploy ment rate for October was listed at 7.0 percent, which was unchanged from September, but down from the 7.5 percent rate listed for October 2012. October's sea sonally adjusted U.S. rate of 7.3 percent was up from the 7.2 percent figure recorded in September, but down from the 7.9 percent number posted in October 2012. According to TWC officials, Texas' seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment expanded by 267,400 jobs over the past year, including an increase of 7,400 positions in October and 36,400 in September. "The private sector in Texas recorded a strong annual growth rate of 2.9 percent in October, adding nearly 265,000 jobs over the year," said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. "We encourage job seekers, in particular our returning veterans, to visit their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance in finding work." This was the sixth monthly gain in the past seven months for Financial Activities. The monthly growth brings the over-the-year total jobs added in the industry to 19,000. "It's good to see growth across several different fields—in particular Mining and Logging, which includes jobs in the oil and gas industries," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "That industry grew by 8,000 jobs in July alone and has grown by almost 6 percent in the last year." Seven out of 11 industries that added jobs in October included Leisure and Hospitality, which expanded by 7,600 positions; Professional and Business Services, which added 5,000 jobs; and Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which grew by 3,700 positions. "It's good to see our unemployment rate declining for three consecutive months, from 6.5 percent in July to 6.2 percent in October," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "Positive economic growth means continued employment opportunities for the job seekers and workers of Texas." Industries such as Mining and Logging, and Professional and Business Services, continued to show annual growth in Texas. Mining and Logging added 15,000 jobs over the year, while Professional and Business Services added 73,200. Both of these industries have grown by more than 5.0 percent over the year. "The Texas economy continues to move forward, with every major industry in the state showing positive growth over the last year," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. From among the 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) monitored by TWC, the Midland MSA had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.1 percent. The Odessa MSA was next at 3.6 percent while the Amarillo MSA was listed at 4.4 percent. The MSAs with the highest jobless rate in June was the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission MSA at 10.1 percent. The Brownsville-Harlingen MSA was next at 9.8 percent and the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA was third from the top after recording a rate of 9.3 percent. Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include: OCT. % COUNTY RATE CHANGE Anderson 6.8 -0.5 Angelina 6.0 -0.3 Hardin 7.1 -0.7 Harris 5.9 -0.3 Houston 7.9 -0.7 Jasper 9.2 -0.5 Jefferson 9.8 -0.3 Leon 5.7 -0.5 Liberty 7.7 -0.4 Madison 6.2 -0.3 Montgomery 5.1 -0.3 Nacogdoches 6.0 -0.4 Polk 7.5 -0.5 Sabine 12.9 -0.6 San Augustine 10.1 -0.5 San Jacinto 6.2 -1.1 Shelby 6.4 -0.6 Trinity 6.5 -0.5 Tyler 8.9 -0.7 Walker 6.1 -0.5

 

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