Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The unemployment rate in Orange County remained the same in August, while the state rate dipped slightly.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Texas fell to 6.4 percent in August, down from 6.5 percent in July, and from 6.8 percent a year ago. Texas’ unemployment rate remained below the national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. Between August 2012 and August 2013, Texas has added 274,700 jobs.
Locally, the unemployment rate remained at 10 percent for the second straight month in Orange County, which is down from 10.4 percent one year ago.
According to information provided by Texas Workforce Solutions, more than 4,200 people of the county’s 41,600 total workforce are seeking employment.
“Our numbers didn’t change for the month, but that shows there is some stability going on with the economy,” said Bobby Fillyaw, director of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation. “Other areas across the state, including parts of Southeast Texas, have seen a drop in unemployment. We will too as projects come online, especially on the construction side of things, and we should see a change in our unemployment rate.”
The Jefferson County jobless rate dropped from 10.6 percent in July to 10.2 percent in August, while the Hardin County unemployment rate declined from 8.5 percent in July to 8 percent in August.
As a whole, the Southeast Texas unemployment rate dipped as well as the jobless rate decreased from 10.1 percent in July to 9.8 percent in August. This is also down from 10.6 percent unemployment figure reported one year ago.
An upward revision of July’s total nonfarm employment figures showed 36,800 jobs added. Total nonfarm employment in August decreased slightly by a net total of 6,400 jobs. Texas has added 26,600 jobs over the last three months, according to the Associated Press.
Employers in mining and logging expanded their payrolls in August, adding 1,900 jobs to the industry, which has the highest annual growth rate among the major industries in Texas at 5.5 percent.
Manufacturing grew by 2,600 jobs in August, according to TWC reports. Professional and Business Services added 2,900 jobs over the month. Over the year this industry has added 58,200 jobs for a 4.1 percent annual growth rate.
The Midland area had Texas’ lowest jobless rate last month, at 3.2 percent. The rate was 3.9 percent in the neighboring Odessa area. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest unemployment statewide at 10.8 percent, commission figures show.