Polk County Enterprise - Local News
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TX unemployment rises slightly; Polk’s rate drops for third month
Polk County Enterprise - April 2008
AUSTIN — Texas seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment grew by 13,500 jobs in March. Texas employers now have added 213,700 jobs in the past 12 months for an annual job growth rate of 2.1 percent. After a record low of 4.1 percent in February, the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.3 percent in March, down from 4.4 percent a year ago. The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent this month, up from 4.8 percent in February and 4.4 percent in March 2007. Polk County’s employment rate dropped again this month, settling at 5.6 percent in March 2008. This is a small decrease over February 2008 which saw 5.9 percent unemployment in the county. Unemployment numbers are down from the previous twoyear high of 7.2 percent set in December 2007 and are approaching the two-year low of 5.4 percent set in April of 2007. Actual numbers for March 2008 refl ect unemployment of 938 persons which is a decrease of 40 persons from February 2008 which saw 978.

“Our Texas economy continues to show signifi cant underlying strength with gains of nearly 40,000 jobs during the last three months,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “Unemployment rates remain near record lows, and our annual job growth rate remains a strong 2.1 percent, well above the U.S. job growth rate of 0.4 percent.” The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Odessa MSA was second at 3.0 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA at 3.1 percent. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 7,800 positions in March, for a total of 36,900 jobs created since March 2007. Leisure and Hospitality increased by 4,300 jobs last month, for a total of 41,300 positions added in the past 12 months.

“Texas employers continue to create jobs in virtually every industry sector, outpacing the nation as a whole,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ron Lehman. “Notable annual Resource and Mining at 7.5 percent, and Leisure and Hospitality at 4.3 percent.” Education and Health Services grew by 2,200 positions in March, with 36,100 jobs added over the year. The Natural Resource and Mining sector gained 1,300 jobs, for a gain of 15,100 jobs over the year. “Significant job gains continue to provide opportunities for Texas workers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “Job seekers are in tremendous demand as employers try to fill open positions during this period of such low unemployment.”


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