Big Thicket Messenger , March 2007
Seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment in Texas grew by 15,600 jobs in December The Texas economy grew by 213,200 jobs during 2006 with an over-the-year growth rate of 2.2%. Texas employers have now added jobs for 27 consecutive months and 40 of the last 41 months.
December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.5% was unchanged from November. It was down from the 4.9% figure recorded for December 2005.
The TWC report noted that the declining unemployment rate continues to set records for the lowest rate in five years.
“Record setting low unemployment rates and high job growth highlight the strength of the Texas economy,: said Texas Workforce Commission TWC) Chair Diane Rath. “Employers are displaying confidence as they continue to add jobs.”
The Trade, Transportation and Utilities (TTU) sector contributed 6,700 jobs in December, the largest increase within a sector of the economy. Employment in the Construction sector rose to 2,800 jobs over the month, for a total of 44,700 jobs since December 2005.
“Both the goods producing and services providing sectors experienced broad-based growth in December,” said TWC Employer Commissioner Ron Lehman.
“Employment gains in Construction jumped 7.7% over the year, and Professional and Business Services added 46,000 jobs over the same period,” Lehman added.
Financial Activities employment displayed a significant increase of 3,100 jobs in December. This was the largest December job gain recorded in the group in over a decade. Financial Activities completed 2006 with a total of 19,300 jobs created for an annual growth rate of 3.1%.
“For Texans seeking employment, now is the time to find work,” said TWC Labor Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “The tremendous job growth means many opportunities in a variety of industries.”
Natural Resources and Mining employment increased for the seventh consecutive month, adding 1,500 jobs in December. The industry finished the year with a total of 11,800 position gains in 2006, representing an annual growth rate of 6.9%.
Initial claims for unemployment compensation in December 2006 were 56,501, down 4.8% from a year ago.
Big Thicket area counties showed Liberty County at a rate of 4.8% with a 0.2% change. Polk County was at 5.0% down 0.6%., San Jacinto County results showed 4.8% down 0.3%, followed closely by Hardin County at 5.4%, down 0.1%.