LIVINGSTON – After declining for three consecutive months, unemployment took a slight upturn in November, rising to 6.2 percent, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
While the new rate is up from the 6.1 percent figure posted in October, it is still well below the 7.3 percent numbers recorded in both January and February of 2014. It also is down significantly from the 7.2 percent unemplyment rate listed for November 2013.
The 6.2 percent November rate – which is the latest rate available from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) – translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 17,955, there were 1,109 county residents looking for work during the month.
One month earlier, TWC's revised estimates put the local labor force at 17,954 with 1,102 looking for jobs.
Statewide, November's actual unemployment rate of 4.6 percent was down from October's 4.8 percent but well below the 5.8 percent jobless figure recorded in November 2013.
When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state's November adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 4.9 percent, which was down slightly from the 5.1 percent posted for October but well below the 6.1 percent listed in November 2013.
The actual national unemployment rate for November was listed at 5.5 percent, which was unchanged from October but well below the 6.6 percent figure posted in November 2013.
The November seasonally adjusted U.S. rate of 5.8 percent also was unchanged from October but down from the 7.0 percent rate listed for November 2013.
According to TWC officials, Texas employers added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in November for a total of 441,200 jobs over the past 12 months.
"The Texas economy continued its record-breaking expansion, providing job opportunities across a wide range of industries," said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. "Texas employers set another record by adding 441,200 jobs over the year and we must continue to focus our efforts on expanding our state's skilled workforce to meet employer needs in high-demand industries."
Seven of 11 major industries added jobs in Texas over the month, including an additional 13,500 jobs in Professional and Business Services, 7,200 jobs added in Education and Health Services and 6,000 jobs added in Leisure and Hospitality.
"Texas continued to show its economic strength with steady job growth across several industries for several years now," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "We have a very strong labor market and job seekers are encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities and job-search tools available at www.WorkInTexas.com."
In November, employers added 4,500 Manufacturing jobs, marking the industry's largest monthly increase since January 2006. Construction grew by 3,600 jobs. The Information industry added 3,300 jobs in November and includes jobs in publishing, telecommunications, data processing, hosting and related services.
"Employers in the private sector continued to drive economic growth, adding 31,900 jobs in November for an impressive total of 409,700 jobs over the last 12 months," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade.
From among the 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) monitored by TWC, the Midland MSA had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.3 percent. The Odessa MSA was next at 2.8 percent while the Amarillo MSA was listed at 3.3 percent.
The MSAs with the highest jobless rate in November was the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission MSA at 8.2 percent. The Brownsville-Harlingen MSA was next at 7.7 percent and the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA was third from the top after recording a rate of 6.9 percent.
Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:
COUNTY RATE CHANGE
Anderson 5.3 -0.4
Angelina 4.6 -0.2
Cherokee 5.9 -0.1
Grimes 4.3 -0.2
Hardin 5.5 -0.2
Harris 4.6 -0.1
Houston 6.6 -0.2
Jasper 7.0 0.1
Jefferson 7.3 0.1
Leon 4.2 -0.3
Liberty 5.6 -0.1
Madison 4.4 -0.1
Montgomery 3.9 -0.2
Nacogdoches 4.5 -0.2
Polk 6.2 0.1
Sabine 10.4 0.5
San Augustine 8.0 0.1
San Jacinto 5.0 -0.1
Shelby 4.7 -0.1
Trinity 5.1 -0.3
Tyler 6.9 -0.1
Walker 4.7 -0.2