Home News Local News State Unemployment Continues Decline in March

State Unemployment Continues Decline in March

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Area County Rates Also Decrease 

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to an April 15 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “In March, the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from February 2022, and two percentage points below the level set one year ago. Texas added 30,100 total nonagricultural jobs in March 2022.”

The media release went on to state that Texas set new employment highs as total nonfarm jobs reached 13,207,600 in March 2022. Texas has added a total of 731,600 positions since March 2021.

While the 4.4 percent mark indicated a decline in the Lone Star State, the unemployment rate still remains above the national mark of 3.6 percent.

Statewide, the highest unemployment level recorded was seven percent, in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA).

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

The lowest rate, at 2.7 percent, was found in the Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock MSAs. The nearest regional MSA is in the Tyler area, which came in at 3.5 percent for the month of March.  

Just like the state number, the unemployment rates for Houston County and the counties contiguous to Houston County all showed a decrease over the month-to-month timeframe. 

In Houston County, the unemployment rate showed a decline as it went from 4.2 percent in February to 3.4 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also lower than the March 2021 rate of 5.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also dropped over the month-to-month timeframe as it went from four percent in February to 3.2 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also lower than the 5.6 percent rate posted in March 2021.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate decreased as it went from 6.9 percent in in February to 5.4 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 7.9 percent rate posted in March 2021.

The March unemployment rate in Cherokee County showed a decrease as it went from 5.6 percent in February to 4.4 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also significantly lower than the seven percent rate posted in March 2021.

The largest population center in the immediate area – Angelina County – also saw the unemployment rate drop as it went from 5.7 percent in February to 4.6 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also lower than the 7.2 percent rate posted in March 2021.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data pointed to a decrease from 6.3 percent in February to 5.1 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 7.7 percent rate posted in March 2021.

Madison County also saw a decrease in the unemployment rate as it went from 5.1 percent in February to four percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also lower than the seven percent rate posted in March 2021.

Rounding out the area counties, the Walker County unemployment rate decreased from 5.5 in February to 4.5 percent in March. The March 2022 unemployment rate was also lower than the 6.9 percent rate posted in March 2021.

In the aforementioned press release from the TWC, Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “We’ve added 152,200 positions so far in 2022, which is more jobs over the first three months than any previous year dating back to 1990. The prosperous economic climate in Texas expands opportunities for all who call Texas home.”

During the month of March, according to the TWC media briefing, “Financial Activities gained 7,800 jobs over the month. Manufacturing added 5,600 positions. Also of note, Education and Health Services employment grew by 5,500 jobs.”  

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez added, “Texas continues to add jobs month after month, meaning more career opportunities for our Texas workforce. From registered apprenticeship programs designed to fill high-demand job openings to child care resources for families and providers, TWC continues to offer tools and resources to help our workforce succeed at advancing in their careers.”

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

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