East Texas unemployment 3.4 percent for December

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East Texas’ unemployment figures for December remained virtually unchanged as compared to November’s figures, officials with the Texas Workforce Commission said.

Unemployment for December’s reporting period was 3.4 percent, compared to 3.5 percent for November. Out of a combined labor force of an estimated 108,000 workers in the East Texas area, 3.4 percent – or 3,700 people able to work – didn’t find employment.

Across the state, Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in December and remains below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, according to TWC figures.

The Texas economy added 306,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the year, including 400 jobs added in December. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2.5 percent in December, marking 92 consecutive months of annual growth.

“Texas ended 2017 with record-level job creation numbers during the fourth quarter, with 10 of 11 industries expanding over the year and an annual gain of 306,900 jobs,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “TWC looks forward to another year of strong partnerships with innovative Texas employers as they continue to create valuable opportunities for the Texas workforce and contribute to our state’s economic success.”

Industries adding jobs in December included Leisure and Hospitality, which added 6,800 jobs; Construction added 4,300 jobs; and Information, which added 3,600 jobs, and includes traditional and software publishing, data processing and hosting, and telecommunications companies.

“Private sector employers had a successful year in Texas, adding almost 270,000 jobs since December 2016,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “This growth is a great illustration of the value and opportunity that employers bring to the Texas economy.”

The Amarillo and Midland Metropolitan Statistical Areas recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.5 percent, followed by the Austin-Round Rock, College Station-Bryan and Lubbock MSAs, which tied for the second lowest with a rate of 2.7 percent.

The San Angelo, San Antonio-New Braunfels and Sherman-Denison MSAs also tied for the third lowest rate of 3 percent for December.

“The unemployment rate in Texas fell nearly a point over the year 2017, which is great news for workers in the Lone Star State,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Positive economic growth means continued opportunities for the expanding labor force here in Texas.”

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