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Trinity Standard - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Unemployment rate climbs to 8.8%
Trinity Standard -

AUSTIN – After falling in September to its lowest level in over a year, unemployment in Trinity County inched upward in both November and December. According to the latest figures now available from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the local unemployment rate rose to 8.8 percent in December. This is up from the 8.4 percent rate recorded in both September and October and the 8.7 percent figure posted for November. The December rate was down from the 9.0 percent figure recorded one year earlier in December 2009. In January 2010, the rate hit a 20-year high at 9.4 percent. The latest number translates to mean that out of an estimated labor force of 6,034 people, there were 531 county residents looking for work during December. In November, TWC listed a revised estimated labor force of 6,034 with 526 people searching for jobs. The December rate marks the 20th consecutive month that the local rate has been above 8.0 percent. Statewide, December’s actual unem¬ployment rate of 8.0 percent was down from November’s 8.3 percent figure. However, it was unchanged from the 8,0 percent jobless figure recorded in November 2009. When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state’s December adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 8.3 percent. This was up slightly from the 8.2 percent figure recorded during both November and in December 2009. The actual national unemploy-ment rate for December was listed at 9.1 percent, which was down from the 9.3 percent rate posted for November. It also was down from the 9.7 percent rate recorded for December 2009. December’s sea¬sonally adjusted U.S. rate of 9.4 percent was down from November’s 9.8 percent figure and from the December 2009 rate of 9.9 percent. According to TWC officials, the state’s total nonfarm employment was up by 20,000 jobs in December, representing the addition of 230,800 jobs since December 2009. They also noted the current seasonably adjusted rate of 8.3 percent continues to trend well below the U.S. rate. Annual job growth in Texas also is strong at 2.3 percent, as compared to the U.S. growth rate of 0.9 percent. “The annual job growth rate in Texas has steadily risen every month during the past 12 months and now stands at 2.3 percent for December,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “At the same time, Texas employers added jobs and out state ended the year with an increase of 218,200 jobs since January,” he added. Goods-producing industries showed strong gains in December with construction adding 8,700 positions for a total of 32,300 jobs over the year. Manufacturing added 3,100 jobs for a 12-month total of 28,000 while mining and logging added 1,400 jobs for a 2010 total of 29,400 jobs. “Texas job growth across many industries offers employment opportunities for Texas workers,” said TWC Labor Commissioner Ronny Congleton. “Staff at TWC and at more than 245 Workforce Solutions offices across the state stand ready to assist those job seekers who remain unemployed.” The leisure and hospitality sector reported its second consecutive month of job gains with the addition of 6,600 positions in December, up by 25,000 jobs since December 2009. Additionally, “other services,” which includes automotive, computer, office machine and appliance repair and maintenance, and service industries such as barbershops, funeral homes and business associations, increased by 3,400 jobs in December. “The Texas labor force expanded for the fourth consecutive months, currently at more than 12.2 million individuals,” said TWC Public Commissioner Andres Alcantar. “Job growth in the goods-producing industries was positive, with annual growth rates of 14.8 percent in mining and logging, 5.8 percent in construction and 3.4 percent in manufacturing.” From among the 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas monitored by TWC, the Midland MSA had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.9 percent. The Amarillo MSA was next at 5.3 percent while the Lubbock MSA was listed at 5.8 percent. The MSA with the highest jobless rate in December was the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA at 12.1 percent followed by the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA at 11.8 percent and the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA at 11.0 percent. Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include: DEC. % COUNTY RATE CHANGE Anderson 9.1 -0.4 Angelina 7.9 -0.2 Cherokee 9.0 -0.4 Grimes 8.2 -0.4 Harris 8.3 -0.3 Houston 10.3 -0.2 Jasper 11.9 +0.3 Jefferson 11.5 0.0 Leon 7.0 -0.2 Liberty 11.0 +0.1 Madison 7.8 -0.5 Montgomery 7.3 -0.3 Nacogdoches 6.4 -0.3 Polk 10.0 -0.1 Sabine 16.6 0.0 San Augustine 12.1 +0.6 San Jacinto 10.8 -0.1 Shelby 8.1 -0.3 Trinity 8.8 +0.1 Tyler 10.7 -0.1 Walker 7.1 -0.5


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