orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

March 9, 2013

Unemployment levels on the rise locally despite brighter outlook

ORANGE — The local unemployment rate for January increased considerably to 11.0 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the higher jobless rates for Orange County, all of Southeast Texas and the state, while stating Texas employers continue to hire people.

The unemployment rate of 11.0 percent in Orange County is an increase of 0.8 percentage points over December 2012 and one full point higher than at this time in 2012.

“The increase in unemployment was largely due to the number of seasonal jobs and construction projects which ended across the area,” said Bobby Fillyaw, director of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation. “Combine those two things with the fact that Texas is gaining almost 1,000 people a day in population, and those numbers are definitely going to fluctuate. Some of those people moving to Texas are employed and some are not.”

Figures indicated 4,597 people were considered unemployed this report in Orange County, which is an increase of 390 people from December 2012.

The overall unemployment rate in Southeast Texas is at 10.8 percent, according to Friday’s report by the TWC. Jefferson County’s unemployment rate increased to 11.3 percent, as did the unemployment level in Hardin County to 8.5 percent.

“When you compare Orange County to the Jefferson and Hardin Counties, we had the second lowest increase in the three county region. The state of Texas even had a larger increase in unemployment than Orange County.

The Texas unemployment level was at 6.9 percent, according to TWC. This is an increase of nearly one full percentage point from the previous month. Nationwide unemployment for January was 7.9 percent and slipped to 7.7 percent in February.

Workforce officials say Texas employers continued to expand their payrolls in January with the addition of 10,400 total nonfarm jobs for a total of 310,900 jobs added during 2012.

A burst of hiring last month added 236,000 U.S. jobs and reduced the U.S. unemployment rate to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January, according to the Associated Press. The robust gains suggested that the economy can strengthen further despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.

The February jobs report issued Friday by the Labor Department provided encouraging details: The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years. Job growth has averaged more than 200,000 a month since November. Wages rose. And the job gains were broad-based, led by the most construction hiring in six years.

Employers have been emboldened by a rebounding U.S. economy. The housing, auto and manufacturing sectors have improved. Corporate profits are strong. And the Dow Jones industrial average is at a record high.

The unemployment rate, which had been stuck at 7.8 percent or above since September, declined mostly because more people found work. Another factor was that 130,000 people without jobs stopped looking for work last month. The government doesn’t count them as unemployed.

Chairman Andres Alcantar says the Texas economy continues to add jobs and create opportunity with growth in all 11 major industries over the last year.

Fillyaw said even with the increase in Friday’s unemployment figures, the outlook for Orange County, Southeast Texas and the state is improving.

“Consumer confidence is high right now. If you compare sales tax receipts with unemployment numbers, then you will see,” Fillyaw explained. “Texas is being positioned for huge, huge growth in the energy sector and the rest of this year should yield some big changes. Overall, we’re looking pretty good right now.”

Midland had the lowest statewide unemployment in January at 3.4 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state's highest jobless rate at 11.6 percent.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GOACC welcomes Computer Shak to membership

    The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed its newest member, Computer Shak, with a ribbon cutting ceremony recently.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tolman benefit set for Saturday

    A benefit will be held this weekend to help the father of a a teenage girl who was seriously injured in a motorcycle wreck this spring, which also claimed the life of his wife.

    July 30, 2014

  • BCISD to hold community meeting Thursday

    The Bridge City Independent School District wants to hear from its citizens at a special meeting this Thursday evening.

    July 30, 2014

  • Roadside debris Rental property, debris behind call for ‘Town Hall’ meeting

    City officials are asking West Orange residents and rental property owners to attend a special meeting on Thursday afternoon.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • WO council orders 11 homes demolished

    City officials approved the demolition of nearly a dozen houses at Tuesday’s council meeting.

    July 29, 2014

  • Road work to continue through Sunday on I-10

    Motorists traveling Interstate 10 through Orange County may encounter slight delays as the state’s transportation department conducts road work over the next few days.

    July 29, 2014

  • BC High School Yearbook.JPG Rising above...

    Bridge City High School yearbook students Bree Newsom, editor and Gabriel Alvarez, assistant editor, traveled to Texas A & M University in College Station to attend the Balfour Communications Workshop July 18 - July 21.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Instructor recognized LSC-O instructor receives international recognition

    An instructor at LSC-O has receive international recognition for her work as an instructor in information technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Trustee Welcome to the Board

    Nathaniel Colbert, standing at left, was officially sworn in earlier this week as the newest member of the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sabine River 1 Have you seen the Sabine?

    There is more to the Sabine River than meets the eye, if one only looks.

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide