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Texas Unemployment Rate Falls in October

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Area County Rates also Decrease 

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to an Oct. 16 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “Texas’ private sector added 136,300 jobs over the month, and the Texas unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October from 8.3 percent in September.”

The TWC statement further indicated the “… unemployment rate for October 2020 is in line with the National unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.”

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 11.4 percent, in the Odessa 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 4.4 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 7.2 percent for the month of October.  

Just like the state numbers, the unemployment rates for the contiguous counties of Houston County all showed an increase over the month-to-month timeframe. 

In Houston County, the unemployment rate for October showed a decrease as it went from 5.8 percent in September to 5.2 percent last month. The October 2020 unemployment rate, however was significantly higher than the October 2019 rate of three percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also dropped up as it went from 6.4 percent in September to 5.5 percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate was higher than the 2.8 percent rate posted in October 2019.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate decreased as it went from 9.1 percent in September to 7.5 percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 4.8 percent rate posted in October 2019.

The October unemployment rate in Cherokee County also decreased as it went from 9.4 percent in September to 7.8 percent last month. The October 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 3.7 percent rate posted in October 2019.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, also saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 8.4 percent in September to 7.1 percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 3.8 percent rate posted in October 2019.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data indicated a decrease from 8.2 percent in September to 7.3 percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the 4.3 percent rate posted in October 2019.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 8.3 percent in September to seven percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate, however, was significantly higher than the four percent rate posted in October 2019.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County continued the trend as it saw the unemployment rate go from eight percent in September to 6.8 percent in October. The October 2020 unemployment rate was also significantly higher than the 3.7 percent rate posted in October 2019.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “While the unemployment rate captures only a snapshot of our economy at a specific moment in time, the job growth we have seen over the past six months shows an enduring strength in the state’s economy. To maximize our efforts, TWC will continue to provide opportunities for Texans to enhance their jobs skills, search for new jobs and participate in other workforce services at one of our many Workforce Solutions Offices.”

In October, according to the TWC media briefing, “The Professional and Business services sector added 45,200 jobs—the largest monthly increase recorded for this industry since the series began in 1990. Leisure and Hospitality added 27,700 jobs and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 19,300 jobs.”

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez stated, “While the economy may look a bit different, one thing holds true: skilled workers are in-demand. TWC is proud to promote on-the-job training through Registered Apprenticeship Programs which help Texans build skills and create careers while earning an income.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.   

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