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Unemployment up slightly for county

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Houston County Seal 1280x640By Chris Edwards
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AUSTIN – According to figures released last week by the Texas Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate in Houston County is up, slightly, from October’s percentage of jobless residents at 3.4%.

That figure is up by a tenth of a percentage point from 3.3% from the previous month, but a large reduction from the year-to-date figure of 4.2% from October 2021. Houston County experienced an average of 4.8% unemployment during 2021.

Of the county’s labor force of 10,764 workers, 365 are unemployed. The county’s record high of joblessness came in July 2009 with 10.5%, according to figures from TWC.

Neighboring Polk and Tyler counties are in the Top 50 of Texas counties with the highest unemployment rates, by a list compiled by the website Stacker.

The peak of unemployment during the pandemic came at an alarming 14.7%, nationwide, in April 2020, and economic experts predict a recession by next year. The last recession, which took place during 2008-2010, saw interest rates rise as much as up to 10% and it was not until the spring of 2019, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the unemployment rate finally went down to where it is at present.

Currently, according to statistics released nationally, the unemployment rate is at 3.4%, which is lower than it was in September at 3.7%.

The statewide unemployment rate is at 3.8%. According to TWC, Texas has added jobs throughout the year 2022, with 556K jobs added to the state’s employment rolls, according to projections. That represents, according to TWC, a 4.3% increase this year, up from 2021.

Texas also has the largest growing metro areas for the least amount of jobless residents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is almost double the rate in the U.S., overall, for job growth.

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