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

Unemployment rate climbs to 5.7%
Trinity Standard - October 2008

TRINITY – Trinity County’s unemployment rate inched up to 5.7 percent in August, rising by only one-tenth of a percentage point over June and July’s 5.6 percent figure.
According to the latest figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission, the county’s 5.7 percent August unemployment rate translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 5,952, there were 339 county residents looking for jobs during the month.
July’s report listed the local jobless rate at 5.6 percent with a total of 5,975 workers and 334 looking for jobs.
Traditionally, the June and July unemployment figures are the highest of each year as high school and college students attempt to find summer jobs.
However, for the first time since 2003, the August jobless figure came in higher than those posted in July. In 2003, the August rate rose to 7.6 percent from the July figure of 7.3.
While the latest rate is up slightly from June, it is substantially higher than the 4.7 percent rate posted one year earlier for August 2007.
Statewide, August’s actual unem­ployment rate of 5.1 percent was up from the 5.0 percent figure posted in July. It also was up from the 4.3 percent rate recorded in August 2007.
When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state’s August unemployment rate was listed at 5.0 percent, which was up from the 4.7 percent rate posted for July. The latest season­ally adjusted rate also was up from the 4.3 percent figure re­corded in August 2007.
The actual national unemploy­ment rate for August was listed at 6.1 percent, which was up from the 6.0 percent rate posted in July. It was also substantially up from the 4.6 rate set one year ago in August 2007.
August’s sea­sonally adjusted U.S. rate of 6.1 percent was up from the 5.7 percent rate recorded in July and up from the 4.7 percent figure posted in August 2007.
In the report, TWC officials noted that nonagricultural employment grew by 6,700 jobs in August, meaning that Texas employers have now added 252,000 jobs over the past 12 months for an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent.
“The rise in the Texas unemployment rate for August reflects the economic challenges facing our nation as a whole,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “While employment figures nationally have turned negative, here in Texas, employment growth continued with 6,700 new jobs.
“For Texas employers and workers affected by Hurricane Ike, TWC stands ready to provide employment assistance,” added Pauken.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities posted gains of 3,200 positions in August, for a total of 41,500 jobs created since August 2007.
The Education and Health Services sector increased by 2,900 positions during the month, for a total of 38,700 jobs added in the past 12 months.
Professional and Business Services saw gains of 2,000 jobs in August, with 61,600 positions added over the year.
Natural Resources and Mining increased by 1,500 jobs in August, adding 15,800 in the past 12 months while Financial Activities saw an increase of 1,200 positions during the month, for a gain of 10,500 over the past year.
Leisure and Hospitality added 1,100 positions during the month, for an annual increase of 38,800 jobs.
 “Although the Texas unemployment rate of 5.0 percent is below the U.S. rate of 6.1 percent, it is still a matter of concern,” said TWC Labor Commissioner Ronny Congleton. “TWC staff at more than 250 local workforce centers across the state can provide help for all Texans searching for work, especially those impacted by Hurricane Ike.”
Despite the rise in the unemployment rate, TWC Public Commissioner Andres Alcantar said a strong 2.4 percent growth rate shows that employers are continuing to add jobs.
“Our state will face economic challenges in the coming months with may employers and workers rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike,” Alcantar added.
Of the state’s 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the high­est jobless rate was the 7.8 percent figure recorded for the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA
Next was the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA at 7.4 percent; the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA at 6.7 percent; the El Paso MSA at 6.4 percent; and the Laredo MSA at 5.9 percent.
The MSA with the lowest unem­ployment during the month was the Midland MSA at 3.1 percent, fol­lowed by the Odessa MSA at 3.7 percent; the Amarillo MSA at 3.8; and the Lubbock MSA at 4.1 per­cent.
Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:
                             AUG.             %

COUNTY           RATE      CHANGE

Anderson               6.1             +0.1
Angelina                 4.7              -0.1
Cherokee                6.4             +0.2
Grimes                     5.8             +0.2
Harris                      5.0             +0.1
Houston                 7.2             +0.1
Jasper                      6.8             +0.4
Jefferson                 6.9               0.0
Leon                        4.8             +0.1
Liberty                    6.2             +0.3
Madison                 5.2             +0.1
Montgomery          4.5             +0.1
Nacogdoches        4.8               0.0
Polk                         6.7               0.0
Sabine                     9.5             +0.3
San Augustine      6.6              -0.1
San Jacinto             6.3             +0.1
Shelby                     5.4             +0.3
Trinity                   5.7            +0.1
Tyler                        6.4               0.0
Walker                    5.8             +0.1







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