Jobless rate under 10 percent in Milam

Milam rate lowest since January 2009

Unemployment numbers show Milam County down slightly for the month at 9.6 percent for April 2011, according to reports released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). It is the county’s lowest jobless rate since 8.8 percent in December 2008. At that time it was the highest since the mid- 1980s.

The county’s unemployment rate had been in double figures 26 of the last 28 months.

Jobless numbers declined just slightly compared to numbers from a year ago where there was a 9.8 percent of county residents unemployed in April 2010.

Milam’s rate was based on a labor force of 10,877 with 9,829 working and 1,048 unemployed.

The labor force in the county has declined 589 people compared to 11,466 in April 2010. The county’s unemployment rate has been above the 10 percent margin since January 2009.

AROUND THE AREA— Most neighboring counties also saw declines in unemployment numbers for the month, dropping from .4 to .9 percent throughout the area from February to March.

STATEWIDE—Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 32,900 jobs in April for a total gain of 254,400 jobs from a year ago. The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April is 8.0 percent, down slightly from 8.1 percent in March and 8.2 percent a year ago. It was also well below the U.S. unemployment rate for April of 9.0.

“Texas has demonstrated its ability to bounce back from the effects of the national recession through strong and consistent job growth over the past year,” TWC chairman Tom Pauken said. “Over the past five years, Texas added more than 500,000 jobs, the largest gain for any state in the nation.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest April unemployment rate in the state at 4.4 percent. The Amarillo MSA had the second lowest unemployment rate in April at 5.2 percent, followed by the College Station-Bryan MSA at 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

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