Milam jobless rates up half a point

Unemployment had been lowest since July 2009

Texas just couldn’t make it three in a row. After two consecutive months of jobless numbers in Milam County being the lowest since April 2011, the county’s unemployment rate is now back up to 9.3 percent this month, according to reports released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

The jobless rate for Milam County in January had been 8.8 but rose the half-percentage point. However, that is still better than 10.5 percent unemployment rate in January 2011.

Milam’s not seasonally adjusted January rate was based on a labor force of 10,861 with 9,851 working and 1,010 unemployed. The labor force increased 62 in Milam County compared to December.

Prior to November 2011, unemployment rates have not been below the 10 percent mark since April and May 2011. Prior to that the rate had been above the 10 percent margin since January 2009.

December’s 8.8 rate was the lowest for Milam since December 2008.

The county’s unemployment rate had been in double figures 30 of the last 37 months.

The only area county not to see an increase in its unemployment figures for the month was Lee County, who fell from 5.7 to 5.6 percent for January 2012.

STATEWIDE—Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in January, down from 7.4 in December and 8.1 in January 2011.

“We’re seeing substantial economic growth here in Texas,” Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken said. “I am encouraged that Mining and Logging, which includes oil and gas employers, has added more than 38,000 jobs over the past year. This industry has grown at a faster rate than any other in Texas, at a 17.6 percent annual growth rate.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest January unemployment rate in the state at 4.1 percent. The Odessa MSA came in second at 4.9 percent, and the Amarillo MSA third at 5.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted).


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