County jobless rate falls to 5.6% in Sept.

LIVINGSTON – Polk County’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level of the year in September, dropping by six-tenths of a percentage point when compared to August.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the local unemployment rate dipped to 5.6 percent in September, down significantly from the 6.2 percent listed in August and down from the previous 2017 low of 5.8 percent posted in July.

In addition to being the lowest jobless rate of the year, the 5.6 percent September rate is down almost a full percentage point from the 6.5 percent rate recorded in September 2016.

The current 6.2 percent unemployment rate translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 17,314, there were 975 county residents looking for work during the month. One month earlier, TWC’s revised estimates put the local labor force at 17,334 with 1,069 people looking for jobs.

Statewide, September’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.0 percent was down from August’s 4.2 percent and down from the 4.7 percent jobles rate posted in September 2016.

The September seasonally adjusted U.S. rate of 4.2 percent was down slightly from August’s 4.4 percent and down from the 4.9 percent figure posted in September 2016.

According to TWC officials, the state experienced a decrease of 7,300 jobs in September, due largely to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Texas’ annual employment growth was 2.1 percent.

“Hurricane Harvey impacted overall job numbers in September, but the dynamic Texas economy has created jobs in 10 of 11 industries over the year,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “TWC remains focused on building and deploying all partnerships necessary to support the rebuilding of our communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and to put our fellow Texans back to work.”
Employment in the Professional and Business Services industry increased by 5,900 jobs in September. Over the year, this industry has gained 41,700 jobs. Financial Activities employment expanded by 5,000 jobs. These gains were offset by losses in other industries including Leisure and Hospitality which lost 21,300 jobs.

“Texas’ economic growth is boosted by the resilience of our employers who have added 230,300 private-sector jobs over the past year,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “TWC is committed to ensuring our state resources and services are provided to help get Texans get back to work after the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey.”

“All Goods Producing industries showed strength in Texas in September, including Manufacturing, which has added 37,200 jobs over the year,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “If you have been unable to work due to Hurricane Harvey, go to for more information on disaster recovery resources for jobseekers.”

From among the 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) monitored by TWC, the Amarillo MSA had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.7 percent, followed the Midland MSA at 2.8 percent and the Austin-Round Rock, College Station-Bryan and Lubbock MSAs at 2.9 percent.

The MSAs with the highest jobless rate in September was the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA at 8.1 percent followed by the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission MSA at 6.9 percent. The Brownsville-Harlingen MSA recorded a rate of 6.4 percent.

Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:
Anderson 3.2 -0.4
Angelina 4.5 -0.7
Cherokee 4.2 -0.6
Grimes 4.7 -1.1
Hardin 6.6 +0.1
Harris 4.9 -0.3
Houston 4.1 -0.6
Jasper 7.1 -0.9
Jefferson 8.4 +1.0
Leon 5.8 -1.1
Liberty 6.9 -0.7
Madison 4.3 -1.0
Montgomery 4.1 -0.4
Nacogdoches 3.8 -0.8
Polk 5.6 -0.6
Sabine 7.8 1.1
San Augustine 7.0 -0.9
San Jacinto 5.4 -0.6
Shelby 4.6 -0.8
Trinity 5.5 -0.3
Tyler 7.3 -0.9
Walker 4.3 -0.7