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Texas Unemployment Rate Fell in October

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Area County Rates Also Drop 

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a Nov. 19 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In October, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from September 2021. Texas added 56,600 total nonagricultural jobs over the month, making gains in 17 of the last 18 months. Texas added a total of 661,300 jobs since October 2020.

While the Texas unemployment rate dropped from September to October, it remains higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was 7.6 percent, in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA).

An MSA is defined as a “… free-standing metropolitan area composed of one or more counties.”

The lowest rate, at 3.3 percent, was in the Amarillo MSA. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area which came in at 4.2 percent for the month of October.  

Unlike the state numbers, the unemployment rates for Houston County and the counties contiguous to Houston County were a mixed bag over the month-to-month timeframe. 

In Houston County, the unemployment rate showed a decline as it went from 4.5 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the October 2020 rate of 5.2 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also decreased as it went from 4.5 percent in September to 4.2 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 5.6 percent rate posted in October 2020.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate increased as it went from 6.6 percent in September to 6.7 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate, however, was lower than the 7.5 percent rate posted in October 2020.

The September unemployment rate in Cherokee County showed a decrease as it went from 5.7 percent in September to 5.6 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also significantly lower than the 7.7 percent rate posted in October 2020.

The largest population center in the immediate area, Angelina County, also saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from six percent in September to 5.9 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 7.1 percent rate posted in October 2020.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data pointed to a decrease from 6.4 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the 7.5 percent rate posted in September 2020.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 5.7 percent in September to 5.5 percent in October. The October 2021 unemployment rate was also lower than the seven percent rate posted in October 2020.

Rounding out the area counties, Walker County remained the same from month-to-month at 6 percent in both September and October. The October 2021 unemployment rate however, was lower than the 6.9 percent rate posted in October 2020.

In the aforementioned press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “Our labor market numbers continue to signal that Texas has jobs for those looking to take the next step in their career. TWC is committed to helping Texans and our businesses succeed, from pursuing roles in high-demand middle skills fields to training and recruiting resources to make our state the best place to live and work.”

During the month of October – according to the TWC media briefing – “The Professional and Business Services industry gained 21,900 jobs over the month. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 15,000 positions. Other Services, which includes the repair and maintenance sector as well as membership associations and organizations, added 9,100 jobs.” 

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez added, “Opportunities in Texas continue to grow, and TWC is here to put all Texans on a path toward finding not just a job, but a career. Whether you’re looking for quality child care or training to advance in your profession, TWC has the resources to help.”

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

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