Local jobless rates higher than state average

unemployment

Rusk County unemployment checked in at 6.6 percent in January, staying just over state and national averages for the same period, according to the March report released from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The county’s unemployment rate rose from 5.5 percent in December 2012.

The new local figures are based on total countywide employment being at 25,173 in January, a decrease of 102 jobs from 25,275 for December 2012.

January unemployment rates elsewhere (followed by the December 2012 rate) included Cherokee, 8.2 percent (7.2 percent); Gregg, 6.0 percent (5.3 percent); Harrison, 7.1 percent (6.4 percent); Nacogdoches, 6.6 percent (5.7 percent); Panola, 6.0 percent (5.4 percent); Smith, 7.2 percent (6.3 percent); and Shelby, 7.1 percent (6.3 percent).

Statewide, unemployment eased up slightly to 6.3 percent, but remained well below the national rate.

The Texas Workforce Commission announced the higher jobless rate compares to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 percent in December and 7.2 percent in January 2012. Nationwide unemployment for January was 7.9 percent and slipped to 7.7 percent in February.

Commission officials say Texas employers continued to expand their payrolls in January with the addition of 10,400 non-farm jobs for a total of 310,900 jobs added in 2012.

TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said the Texas economy continues to add jobs, with growth in all 11 major industries over the last year.

“The leisure and hospitality sector has seen the most growth, with 8,900 new jobs in January alone,” he said. “It’s added about 62,500 jobs over the last year for a 5.9 percent annual growth rate.”

TWC Commissioner Ronny Congleton said “it’s good to see so many different opportunities continuing to arise here in Texas.”

“For example, the trade, transportation and utilities industry alone has grown by nearly 64,000 jobs over the past year,” he added

The mining and logging sector added 19,700 jobs for the year ending in January. The construction field saw 28,500 new jobs over the same period.

Private industries in Texas added 15,400 jobs in January, for a total of 304,700 private sector jobs added over the past year. Over the last year the private sector has grown at a rate of 3.4 percent.

When it comes to unemployment rates in various parts of the state, Midland had the lowest unemployment in January at 3.4 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest jobless rate at 11.6 percent.

The following are the preliminary local jobless rates for January, with revised December numbers in parentheses:
• Abilene 5.4 (4.7)
• Amarillo 4.9 (4.1)
• Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos 5.8 (4.9)
Beaumont-Port Arthur 10.8 (9.2)
• Brownsville-Harlingen 11.0 (9.7)
• College Station-Bryan 5.9 (5.0)
• Corpus Christi 6.5 (5.7)
• Dallas-Plano-Irving 6.7 (5.9)
• El Paso 9.5 (8.4)
• Fort Worth-Arlington 6.8 (5.7)
• Houston-Sugar LandBaytown 6.7 (6.0)
• Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 7.6 (6.6)
• Laredo 7.2 (6.1)
• Longview 6.2 (5.5)
• Lubbock 5.5 (4.7)
• McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 11.6 (10.3)
• Midland 3.4 (3.1)
• Odessa 4.1 (3.7)
• San Angelo 5.4 (4.6)
• San Antonio-New Braunfels 6.6 (5.7)
• Sherman-Denison 7.5 (6.7)
• Texarkana 7.2 (5.7)
• Tyler 7.2 (6.2)
• Victoria 5.8 (5.2)
• Waco 6.5 (5.6)
• Wichita Falls 6.3 (5.5)

 

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