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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added -  March 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Unemployment hits five-year high
Trinity Standard - March 2009

TRINITY – Trinity County’s unemployment rate hit a new five-year high in January, topping the 7 percent mark for the first time since July 2004.
According to the latest jobless figures available from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the local rate soared to 7.6 percent in January.
This marks the first time the local unemployment rate has climbed this high since an identical 7.6 percent figure was recorded in August 2003. The last time the local rate rose above 7 percent was the 7.1 percent figure posted in July 2004.
The January rate is up from 6.7 percent in December and substantially up from the 5.2 percent figure posted for January 2008.
The latest increase in the rate is the fifth consecutive monthly rise reported for the county.
January’s 7.6 percent rate translates to mean that out of an estimated labor force of 5,912 people, there were 449 county residents looking for jobs during the month.
In December, the TWC estimated the county had 5,967 workers with 401 of them looking for jobs.
Statewide, January’s actual unem­ployment rate of 6.8 percent was up from the 5.7 percent figure posted in December. It also was up from the 4.7 percent rate recorded for January 2008.
When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state’s January adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 6.4 percent, which was up from the 5.6 percent rate posted for December. The latest season­ally adjusted rate also was up from the 4.4 percent figure re­corded in January 2008.
The actual national unemploy­ment rate for January was listed at 8.5 percent, which was up from the 7.1 percent rate posted in December. It also was substantially up from the 5.4 rate set one year ago in January 2008.
January’s sea­sonally adjusted U.S. rate of 7.6 percent was up from the 7.2 percent figure recorded in December and up from the 4.9 percent figure posted in January 2008.
In the report, TWC officials noted that the state’s seasonally adjusted rate has consistently remained well below the national rate for the past year
Nonagricultural employment fell by 75,800 jobs in January. Texas employers showed a net loss of 5,300 jobs over the year, compared with job losses of 3.5 million nationwide during the same period.
Through October, Texas’ annual job growth far surpassed every state in the nation at 161,000 positions.
“The national economic crisis is beginning to have a serious, negative impact on our Texas economy,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.
Industry losses hit the Manufacturing as well as the Trade, Transportation & Utilities (TTU) sectors the hardest, down 38,100 and 26,600 jobs respectively.  TTU includes wholesale and retail trades, air and rail transportation and the transmission of electric power and natural gas.
Texas’ year-over-year figures continued to fare better, with more than half of the industry sectors still posting positive job growth and several industries showing gains in January.
The Education & Health Services sector grew by 3,200 positions for an industry gain of 50,100 jobs in the past year. Leisure & Hospitality continued its growth trend, adding 1,600 jobs in January and 17,400 jobs in the past 12 months.
“Although the unemployment rate in Texas is lower than in other parts of the country, it has gone up in recent months and we are concerned,” said TWC Labor Commissioners Ronny Congleton.
“I encourage job seekers to seek assistance at more than 240 Texas workforce center providing help with work search, skills training and other services,” he added.
Of the state’s 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the high­est jobless rate was the 10.1 percent figure recorded for the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA.
Next was the 9.5 percent rate posted for the Brownsville-Harlingen MSAs. The Beaumont-Port Arthur followed at 8.7 percent, the El Paso MSA followed at 8.3 percent and the Sherman-Denison MSA at 7.4 percent.
The MSA with the lowest unem­ployment during the month once again was the Midland MSA at 3.8 percent, fol­lowed by the Amarillo MSA at 4.6 percent, the Lubbock MSA at 4.7 percent; and Odessa MSA at 4.9 percent.
Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:
JAN.             %
COUNTY           RATE      CHANGE

Anderson               7.5             +1.3
Angelina                 6.2             +0.9
Cherokee                8.4             +1.0
Grimes                     7.0             +1.1
Harris                      6.4             +1.0
Houston                 8.1             +0.6
Jasper                      8.7             +1.4
Jefferson                 9.1             +0.9
Leon                        5.8             +0.9
Liberty                    8.5             +1.4
Madison                 6.5             +1.3
Montgomery          5.8             +0.9
Nacogdoches        5.5             +1.0
Polk                         8.6             +1.3
Sabine                   13.4             +1.1
San Augustine      9.3             +1.6
San Jacinto             7.5             +1.6
Shelby                     6.1             +0.9
Trinity                   7.6            +0.9
Tyler                        8.5             +1.2
Walker                    6.4             +1.0



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