Milam jobless rate hovers at 10.5%

Rockdale’s unemployment rate was at 10.5 percent for May, the same rate as the previous month, the Texas Workforce Commission reported.

Milam County’s rate was based on a labor force of 11,193 with 10,022 working and 1,171 jobless.

Milam’s rate has fallen from a high of 11.7 percent in January though the county has seen a loss of 100 in its labor force since that time.

The highest rate the county has hit was 11.8 percent last June. TWC numbers show a loss of 489 in the labor force since that time.

Milam’s rate has stayed in double digits since January 2009, as layoffs were phased in following the Oct0ber 2008 closing of Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations.

Milam’s rate compares to a statewide rate of 8 percent and a national rate of 9.3 percent (neither adjusted for seasonal agricultural work).

Statewide, Texas added 43,600 jobs in May.

“Employers in most industries added jobs,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “It is encouraging to see that Texas’ annual job growth rate is back in positive territory.”

Manufacturing added 7,000 jobs in May, while mining and logging added another 6,500.

“We know that job seekers are still facing tough competition during these challenging times,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton.

Amarillo and Midland tied for lowest metropolitan city rate at 5.4 percent. Highest continued to be the McAllen-Edinburg area at 11.2 percent.

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