Area County Rates Increase in July
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – According to an Aug. 16 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In July, the Texas economy added 35,200 seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm positions. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.4 percent matching the all-time record low set in June. This record is currently the lowest the unemployment rate has been since series tracking began in 1976.”
At the national level, the unemployment rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 3.7 percent.
Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 6.8 percent, in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) areas.
An MSA is defined as a “… free-standing metropolitan area composed of one or more counties.”
The lowest rate, at 2.2 percent, was in the Midland MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 3.5 percent for the month of July.
While the state numbers dropped, the unemployment rates for the contiguous counties of Houston County were a mixed bag over the month-to-month timeframe.
In Houston County, the unemployment rate for June moved upward over a month-month timeframe as it went from3.4 percent in June 2019 to 3.5 percent in July. The July 2019 rate was the same as the 3.5 percent unemployment rate posted in July 2018.
The unemployment rate in Anderson County climbed somewhat as it went from 2.9 percent in June 2019 to 3.1 percent in July 2019. On a positive note, however, the July 2019 rate was lower than the 3.3 percent rate posted in July 2018.
To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate increased as it went from 4.4 percent in June 2019 to 4.8 percent in July 2019. The 4.8 percent rate for July 2019 was also lower than the 5.3 percent rate from July 2018.
The unemployment rate in Cherokee County increased as it went from 3.7 percent in June 2019 to 3.9 percent in July. The July 2019 rate was lower than the July 2018 rate of 4.4 percent.
The largest population center in the immediate area – Angelina County – also saw the unemployment rate increase from June to July 2019 as it went from 4.1 to 4.3 percent. On a positive note, the July 2019 rate was lower than the 4.6 percent rate posted in July 2018.
On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated an increase from 4.6 percent in June to 4.8 percent in July 2019. The recent figures, however, pointed to a decrease from the July 2018 unemployment rate of five percent.
Rounding out the area counties, Madison County also saw an increase in the unemployment rate as it went from 4.9 percent in June 2019 to 5.2 percent in July. The July 2019 rate was also higher than the five percent rate posted in July 2018.
In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chair Ruth Rugero Hughs stated, “It is remarkable and a testament to the strength of our industries that Texas continues to maintain a historic low unemployment rate of 3.4%. Our economy remains strong as a result of the continuing growth of our Texas employers and our thriving industries.”
The media statement further indicated, “Leading job growth in July was the Leisure and Hospitality industry adding 8,300 jobs in July, followed by the Construction industry adding 6,300 jobs and Education and Health Services which added 6,100 jobs.”
TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “I am incredibly proud of our robust and ever-growing workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Texas cannot have a record low unemployment rate without talented and skilled workers eager and ready to fill open positions.”
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.