Jobless rate drops slightly in East Texas

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Unemployment in the Lindale and East Texas area dropped slightly from February to March according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission this past week.

Out of a workforce of approximately 108,000 in the East Texas region, 4,000 – or 3.7 percent – were unemployed, TWC figures revealed.

In March 2017, the unemployment rate for the East Texas area was 4.3 percent, or 4,500 out of a workforce of just over 105,000.

Across the state, unemployment figures held steady at 4.0 percent in March and remains below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

The Texas economy added 32,000 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs in March, which marked 21 consecutive months of employment growth. Over the year, Texas added 294,100 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.4 percent in March.

“Texas employers added 294,100 positions over the year with 10 of 11 industries adding jobs in the diverse Texas economy,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Texas’ broad-based growth across industries provides exceptional opportunities for our highly skilled workforce and highlights the competitive strength of Texas employers.”

The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 7,500 positions added. Professional and Business Services employment grew by 6,200 jobs, while Construction employment expanded by 3,800 positions.

“Private-sector employment remained strong over the month with 30,600 jobs added in March,” said Commissioner Ruth R. Hughs. “Texas is a state that continues to welcome new employers and support home grown businesses, offering them the tools they need to succeed and grow.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4 percent, followed by the Amarillo and College Station-Bryan MSAs with a rate of 3.0 percent, each.

“The Texas labor force has much to offer and there are resources available to find the perfect occupational fit,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I encourage all job seekers to take advantage of these services and contact their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance with job training and placement.”

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