Home News Local News May Sees State Unemployment Rate Decline

May Sees State Unemployment Rate Decline

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Area County Rates Show Increase 

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – According to a June 17 press release from the Texas Workforce Commission, “Texas added 74,200 total nonagricultural jobs in May 2022. For the seventh consecutive month, the state set new employment highs as total nonfarm jobs reached 13,357,100. Texas has added a total of 762,400 positions since May 2021.”

The media release went on to state the seasonally adjusted Texas unemployment rate in May was 4.2 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from April 2022.

While the 4.2 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 6.9 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 May.  

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

In Houston County, the unemployment rate showed a decline as it went from 3.1 percent in April to 3.3 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate, however, was lower than the May 2021 rate of 4.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Anderson County also increased over the month-to-month timeframe as it went from three percent in April to 3.1 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate, however, was lower than the 4.9 percent rate posted in May 2021.

To the south – in Trinity County – the month-to-month rate increased as it went from 5.2 percent in April to 5.4 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 7.3 percent rate posted in May 2021.

The April unemployment rate in Cherokee County showed an increase as it went from 4.1 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was significantly lower than the 6.3 percent rate posted in May 2021.

The largest population center in the immediate area – Angelina County – also saw the unemployment rate go up as it went from 4.3 percent in April to 4.6 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 6.4 percent rate posted in May 2021.

On a month-to-month basis, in Leon County, the statistical data pointed to an increase from 4.7 percent in April to 5.1 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 6.8 percent rate posted in May 2021.

Madison County also saw an increase in the unemployment rate as it went from 3.8 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 6.1 percent rate posted in May 2021.

Rounding out the area counties, the Walker County unemployment rate increased from 4.3 in April to 4.6 percent in May. The May 2022 unemployment rate was lower than the 6.1 percent rate posted in May 2021.

In the aforementioned press release from the TWC, Chairman Bryan Daniel stated, “Texas continues to set records for employment growth with more than 250,000 jobs added from the beginning of this year through May. Training and upskilling are crucial to maintain this level of employment growth, and TWC remains committed to offering innovative training programs.”

During the month of May, according to the TWC media briefing, “Leisure and Hospitality gained 27,600 jobs over the month. Professional and Business Services added 15,300 positions, followed by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment which grew by 11,700 jobs. Three major industries surpassed their pre-COVID employment levels for the first time in May 2022 — Construction, Manufacturing, and Leisure and Hospitality. This brought the total to eight industries that have recovered from the pandemic-related downturn, joining Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, Information, Financial Activities, Professional and Business Services, and Education and Health Services.”

TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez added, “Regardless of your background or skill level, TWC offers pathways to a successful career for all Texans. In the coming months, we look forward to highlighting opportunities available in the Texas labor market. Our upcoming GRACE Conference aims to showcase the value of hiring second chance individuals to bolster our Texas economy.”

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

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