Big Thicket Messenger - April 2007
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in January, from a revised 4.7% in December 2006 and down from 5.2% in January a year ago. During the past 12 months, the Texas economy grew by 243,700 jobs for a growth rate of 2.5%, outpacing the nation as a whole.
The Texas Workforce Commission annually revises the Total Nonagricultural employment and the Civilian Labor Force statistics, which includes the unemployment rate, under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Texas unemployment rate at 4.5% is now lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.6%.
“Our falling unemployment rate highlights the state’s healthy economic climate,” said Texas Workforce Commission TWC) Chair Diane Rath. “Coupled with year-over-year sustained job gains, these lower unemployment rates signify strength in the Texas labor market.”
In the past 12 months, the Professional and Business Services industry saw gains of nearly 50,000 jobs, followed by Leisure and Hospitality, which grew by 40,000 positions.
“Employers in the Lone Star State continue to set a tremendous pace with record job growth,” said TWC Employer Commissioner Ron Lehman.
“Ten industries spurred statewide job growth over the past year, with Manufacturing gaining 16,200 jobs and Construction growing by 26,600 positions,” Lehman added.
The Mining industry has added jobs every month since November 2003. In January, Mining gained another 1,800 positions, reaching an annual growth rate of 12.7%. Financial Activities grew for the third straight month, adding 1,500 jobs in January and 12,800 positions since January 2006.
“We’ve made great strides, with a record number of workers – 11,063,400 – in the labor force today,”
said TWC Labor Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “It’s always good news when more Texans find work.”
Initial claims for unemployment compensation in January 2007 were 59,196, down 2.6% from January 2006.
Big Thicket area counties showed Liberty County at a rate of 5.8% with a 0.2% change. Polk County was at 6.4% up 1.1%., San Jacinto County results showed 5.4% up 0.5%, followed closely by Hardin County at 5.5%, up 1.0%.