|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - January 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Unemployment rate hits 2 year high
Trinity Standard - January 2009
TRINITY – Trinity County’s unemployment rate continued to climb, rising to its highest level in more than two years.
According to the latest jobless figures available from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the local rate soared to 6.5 percent in November.
This marks the first time the local unemployment rate has climbed this high since an identical 6.5 percent figure was recorded in July 2006.
The November rate is up from 6.2 percent in October and substantially up from the 4.6 percent figure posted for November 2007.
The latest increase in the rate is the fourth consecutive monthly rise reported for the county. The local June and July rates – traditionally the highest of the year – were both listed at 5.6 percent. The August rate came in at 5.7 percent, the September rate rose to 5.8 before climbing to 6.2 percent in October.
November’s 6.5 percent rate translates to mean that out of an estimated labor force of 6,023 people, there were 394 county residents looking for jobs during the month.
In October, the TWC estimated the county had 6,,043 workers with 377 of them looking for jobs.
Statewide, November’s actual unemployment rate of 5.6 percent was up from the 5.4 percent figure posted in October. It also was up from the 4.2 percent rate recorded for November 2007.
When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state’s November adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 5.7 percent, which was up from the 5.6 percent rate posted for October. The latest seasonally adjusted rate also was up from the 4.2 percent figure recorded in November 2007.
The actual national unemployment rate for November was listed at 6.5 percent, which was up slightly from the 6.1 percent rate posted in October. However, it was substantially up from the 4.5 rate set one year ago in November 2007.
September’s seasonally adjusted U.S. rate of 6.7 percent was up from the 6.5 percent figure recorded in October and up from the 4.7 percent figure posted in November 2007.
In the report, TWC officials noted that nonagricultural employment grew by 7,300 jobs in November, meaning that Texas employers have added 221,200 jobs over the past 12 months for an annual growth rate of 2.1 percent.
“Despite a slight increase in the unemployment rate statewide, the falling unemployment rates in Southeast Texas reflect that those adversely affected by the impact of Hurricane Ike are getting back to work,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.
“While Texas is holding our own compared to the national trends, we continue to feel the impact of the U.S. and international economic downturn,” he added.
TWC noted that during November, the Leisure and Hospitality sector of the economy gained 4,300 positions, for an industry gain of 38,000 jobs in the past year.
The Education and Health Services sector grew by 2,100 jobs during the month and added 31,700 positions over the past 12 months.
“The Texas unemployment rate climbed slightly to 5.7 percent this month, so we know many Texans are searching for work, despite reported job growth,” said TWC Labor Commissioner Ronny Congleton.
“Workforce centers across the state are ready to assist Texas workers with employment services such as résumé preparation, as well as with WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s online job-matching system.
Natural Resources and Mining reported an increase in employment for the 14th consecutive month, adding 1,900 jobs in November, with 17,400 added over the year. This industry’s annual growth rate is now at 8.2 percent.
“Our Texas employers still are adding jobs and continue to outperform the United States over the year,” said TWC Public Commissioner Andres Alcantar.
“Although we recorded a slight rise in the unemployment rate in November, it is encouraging that a number of industries have been able to sustain job growth throughout the year,” he added.
Of the state’s 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the highest jobless rate was the 8.2 percent figure recorded for the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA.
Next was the 7.8 percent rate posted for both the Beaumont-Port Arthur and Bronwsville-Harlingen MSAs. The El Paso MSA followed at 6.9 percent and the Laredo MSA at 6.0 percent.
The MSA with the lowest unemployment during the month once again was the Midland MSA at 3.3 percent, followed by the Odessa MSA at 3.9 percent, the Amarillo MSA at 4.0 percent; and Lubbock MSA at 4.1 percent.
Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:
COUNTY RATE CHANGE
Anderson 6.4 +0.1
Angelina 5.1 +0.1
Cherokee 7.2 +0.1
Grimes 5.8 +0.1
Harris 5.4 +0.1
Houston 7.8 +0.2
Jasper 7.2 0.0
Jefferson 8.2 -0.3
Leon 5.0 +0.4
Liberty 6.8 +0.2
Madison 5.5 -1.5
Montgomery 5.0 +0.2
Nacogdoches 5.1 +0.3
Polk 7.6 +0.4
Sabine 10.8 +0.2
San Augustine 7.0 +0.2
San Jacinto 6.4 +0.1
Shelby 5.2 0.0
Trinity 6.5 +0.3
Tyler 7.3 +0.3
Walker 5.9 0.0