‘Pre-Luminant’ unemployment down

The most recent unemployment statics for Milam County can only be called “ironic.”

September statistics, the most recent available from the Texas Workforce Commission, showed unemployment in Milam County dropped both for the month and the year.

Two weeks into October, Luminant announced it was closing its Sandow Power Plant near Rockdale and its Three Oaks Mine in Bastrop and Lee Counties.

About one-third of the employees in the power plant and mine list Rockdale (zip code)addresses. Many more live in Milam County.

See story page 1A.

The closings, targeted for January, will have a major “ripple effect” in the county’s economy, including 100 to 200 contract workers whose jobs depend upon the Luminant activities.

RATE—The September accounting shows a Milam work force of 10,338 with 473 unemployed.

That’s a 4.6 percent unemployment rate.

The September rate was down significantly from the previous month (5.1 percent) and down almost a full point from the 5.5 percent logged in September, 2016.

COUNTIES—The six counties adjacent to Milam showed similar trends.

Williamson County had a 3.0 percent unemployment rate.

That’s down from 3.5 a month ago and 3.6 a year ago.

Bell County’s September rate was 3.8 percent.

That’s down from 4.2 percent the previous month and 4.7 percent the previous year.

Lee County’s September unemployment rate was 3.0 percent.

That’s down from 3.5 in August and 4.1 in September, 2016.

For Burleson County, the September rate was 3.9 percent.

That’s down from 4.5 percent the previous month and 4.9 percent one year ago.

Robertson County’s rate was 4.1, down from 5.2 the previous month and 5.1 the previous year.

Falls County’s September unemployment rate was 4.0 percent.

That’s down from the August rate of 4.6 percent and also down from the September, 2016, rate of 4.7 percent.

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