Unemployment rate better than one year ago
ORANGE — Unemployment levels remain roughly the same as one month ago but figures are much better than they were last year at this time.
According to official unemployment figures released in June, Orange County had a current unemployment rate of 5.8 percent for the month of May, which is a 0.1 percentage point increase of 5.7 percent in the month of April. This is a sizable decrease from the unemployment rate of 7.5 percent in May 2014.
“We still have a higher unemployment rate that a lot of places in the state, but we are doing much better than a year ago,” said Bobby Fillyaw, director of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation. “The problem we may have is that as our unemployment level begins to shrink, the whole labor market tightens and it makes it more difficult for these companies to find the people they need.”
The Jefferson County jobless rate remained the same at 6.2 percent from April to May, which is down from the rate of 7.8 percent in May 2014. In Hardin County, the unemployment rate increased slightly 4.8 percent in April to 5.0 percent in May.
As a whole, the Southeast Texas unemployment rate remained at 5.9 percent from April to May. In May of 2014, the Southeast Texas unemployment rate was at 7.5 percent.
The state of Texas reported a jobless rate of 4.1 percent in May, which is up slightly from the unemployment rate of 4.0 in April. In May 2014, the jobless rate was hovering at 5.0 percent with approximately 658,000 unemployed at that time, according to official figures from Texas Workforce.
“We have more people with jobs and with more money to spend than we did one year ago,” Fillyaw continued. “That is keeping our sales tax revenue strong throughout the county and it is good for the local businesses, and that’s good for us as a whole.”