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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Unemployment dips to 7.1%

 

LIVINGSTON – Polk County's unemployment rate for March fell to 7.1 percent from the revised February figure of 7.5 percent, according to the latest report released by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The new number is the highest March rate recorded for the county since the 7.8 percent jobless figure poasted in March 2013. The 7.1 percent figure also marks the third consecutive month the rate has topped the 7 percent mark. During all of 2015 and 2016, the county's jobless numbers fell in the 5.3 to 6.9 percent range. The current 7.1 percent unemployment rate translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 17,831, there were 1,269 county residents looking for work during the month. One month earlier, TWC's revised estimates put the local labor force at 17,751 with 1,326 people looking for jobs. Statewide, March's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.0 percent was up slightly from the 4.9 percent figure recorded in February and up from the 4.6 percent posted in March 2016. The March seasonally adjusted U.S. rate of 4.5 percent was down from February's 4.7 percent and down from the 5.0 percent figure posted in March 2016. According to TWC officials, Texas added an estimated 9,500 nonfarm jobs in March. "Texas employers continue to boost the diverse Texas economy by adding jobs, including 249,000 over the year," said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. "Texans continue to have a range of workforce opportunities created by our innovative Texas employers, and I encourage job seekers and students to explore these opportunities with local workforce boards around the state." Employment in the Professional and Business Services industry recorded the largest private-industry gain over the month with 13,200 jobs added. Mining and Logging employment grew by 4,800 jobs in March and Construction employment expanded by 4,000 jobs. "Texas employers continue to keep our state competitive with an overall privatesector annual job growth of 210,500 with 7,000 jobs added in March, said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. "When Texas employers prosper, Texans prosper, and we want to ensure they have the resources they need to start, grow and thrive their businesses right here at home." From among the 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) monitored by TWC, the Amarillo MSA had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.5 percent, followed by the College Station-Bryan and Austin-Round Rock MSAs at 3.6 percent. The Lubbock and Midlands MSAs were next at 4.0 percent. The MSAs with the highest jobless rate in March was the McAllen–Edinburg– Mission MSA at 8.5 percent. The Brownsville-Harlingen and Beaumont-Port Arthur MSAs were second from the top after recording a rate of 7.9 percent and the Corpus Christi MSA was next at 6.6 percent. Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:

MARCH % COUNTY RATE CHANGE
Angelina..........6.3....... -0.2
Hardin.............7.0....... -0.1
Harris...............5.7....... -0.2
Houston...........4.6....... -0.3
Jasper ..............8.7....... -0.4
Jefferson..........8.2....... -0.1
Liberty.............8.3....... -0.3
Madison..........5.5...... +0.1
Montgomery....5.2....... -0.2
Nacogdoches...5.0........ 0.0
Polk.................7.1....... -0.4
San Jacinto......6.6....... -0.3
Shelby.............6.1....... -0.2
Trinity..............6.0........ 0.0
Tyler................8.5....... -0.2
Walker.............5.2....... -0.4

 

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