Still high, but steady at 10.2%

Rate has leveled, on par with much of nation

Milam County's jobless rate stayed at 10.2 percent in February and the county has been above or near the double-digit unemployment mark for much of the past year.

Milam's rate compares with 5.4 percent in September 2008, just before Alcoa announced closure of Rockdale Operations, accounting for job loss of more than 1,000 when contractors were considered.

The county's figures, released by the Texas Workforce Commission, were based on a labor force of 12,601, with 11,316 working and 1,285 jobless.

Milam's rate compares to a statewide rate of 8.3 percent (not adjusted for seasonal agricultural work). County rates for Milam and the surrounding areas are pictured in the graph below.

Milam's rate is on par with the average national rate, which was 9.5 percent in September. Despite its reliance on Alcoa, the county still fares better than many areas of the country, which continue to see 15 to 20-percent joblessness.


Total statewide civilian labor force increased to above the 12 million mark for the third consecutive month. But total non-agricultural jobs fell by 44,700 positions last month.

Lubbock recorded the lowest job rate for metropolitan areas at 5.7 percent, followed by Amarillo at 5.8. Highest rate was McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 11.6 percent.

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2009-10-22 digital edition

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