Area jobless numbers rise slightly

State unemployment rate stays steady

Milam County’s labor force rose for the month of May, but unfortunately so did its unemployment rate. The county’s jobless numbers increased to 7.9 percent according to numbers released by the Texas Workforce Commission last week. The rate was 7.5 percent in April.

LABOR FORCE—The TWC figures released Friday show Milam County with a civilian labor force of 11,009 of which 10,137 are employed and 872 unemployed. The labor force increased from 10,971 in April.

All three numbers are down from the May, 2011 figures, which showed a labor force of 11,223 with 10,137 employed and 1,061 unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 9.5.

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

Neighboring counties are also seeing an increase in unemployment numbers, with each of the six bordering counties showing a rising jobless rate by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points from last month.

STATEWIDE—The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 in May, the same rate as it was last month, and still well below the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. The U.S. rate rose one-tenth of a point from April’s 8.1 percent.

The Texas unemployment rate had decreased for eight consecutive months prior to May. Texas’ economy added jobs for the 22nd consecutive month as employers added 12,500 nonfarm jobs for the month.

“Over the past year, private sector employment in Texas has shown an encouraging 3.3 percent annual growth rate,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “It is a positive sign that a number of Texas industries added jobs in May, led by Professional and Business Services with an increase of 8,500 jobs.”

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