Milam County’s jobless rate up slightly

Declining trend halted after four month slow down

AUSTIN—After a slight declining trend over the past four months, Milam County’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage points in May, according to numbers released by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) on Friday.

The county’s May rate was at 6.9 percent, compared to 6.7 in April. Jobless numbers in Milam County were 7.4 in March and 8.0 in February.

Neighboring counties also felt a small surge in unemployment numbers. The six surrounding counties saw increases ranging from three-tenths to half a percentage point for the month.

TWC figures for Milam County showed a civilian labor force of 11,321 for May, of which 10,543 are employed and 778 are unemployed.

The labor force is down for Milam County from May 2012 where it was 11,340. The jobless rate this time last year was 7.5 percent.

STATEWIDE—Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly for the month at 6.5 percent, just above its April mark of 6.4. It remained well below the national unemployment rate in May of 7.6 percent, also up onetenth from April.

Over the month, nine of the 11 major industries in Texas saw positive growth led by Education and Health Services, which added 5,500 jobs in May 2013. That industry has added 44,100 jobs over the last year for a 3.0 percent annual growth rate.

“I’m encouraged that Texas job seekers continue to find work,” said Ronny Congleton, TWC commissioner representing labor. “Despite the slight increase in the unemployment rate in May, Texas’ civilian labor force, the second largest in the nation, continues to grow, and that’s a positive sign.”

Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest May jobless rate in the state at 3.4 percent. The Odessa MSA came in second at 4.1 and the Amarillo MSA third at 4.8 (not seasonally adjusted).

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