Texas jobless rate up, but so is number of jobs

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 12:54 PM

Texas' unemployment rate inched up to 8.3 percent in October while the state bucked a yearlong trend by adding jobs, officials said Friday.

The state's jobless rate rose from 8.2 percent in September, but the increase in jobs by 41,700 from a month ago was just the second jump in the past year, according to Texas Workforce Commission figures.

The increase followed a September estimate of 10.3 million total jobs, the lowest in nearly three years.

"In October, the Texas job market regained some lost ground experienced over the past several months, although it is too soon to indicate a trend," commission chairman Tom Pauken said.

The education and health services sector had the biggest increase, adding 14,900 jobs. Professional and business services added 10,800 jobs.

The construction industry took the biggest hit, with job losses totaling 9,400.

Initial claims for unemployment jumped to 107,555 from 98,725 in September while the number of continuing claims dropped slightly from 1.2 million to 1.1 million.

The number of unemployed Texans topped 1 million for the first time in the current economic downturn.

"Reports of job gains in October are good news, and certainly better than the alternative, but we remain concerned about the many Texans who still cannot find work," said Ronny Congleton, the commissioner representing labor.

Texas continued to track well below the national unemployment rate of 10.2 percent.

Unemployment rates are adjusted for seasonal trends in hiring and firing, which most economists believe gives a better picture of the job market.

Without the seasonal adjustment, Texas' unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent in September.

The following are the preliminary October jobless rates for specific areas of Texas, with revised September numbers in parentheses. The local figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Abilene 6.1 (6.3)

Amarillo 5.5 (5.8)

Austin-Round Rock 7.2 (7.2)

Beaumont-Port Arthur 10.8 (10.7)

Brownsville-Harlingen 10.5 (10.7)

College Station-Bryan 6.0 (6.5)

Corpus Christi 7.7 (7.9)

Dallas-Plano-Irving 8.3 (8.4)

El Paso 9.5 (9.8)

Fort Worth-Arlington 8.3 (8.3)

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 8.5 (8.5)

Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 7.1 (7.3)

Laredo 8.8 (9.2)

Longview 8.0 (8.2)

Lubbock 5.4 (5.7)

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 11.2 (11.5)

Midland 5.8 (6.1)

Odessa 9.0 (9.2)

San Angelo 6.7 (7.0)

San Antonio 7.0 (7.1)

Sherman-Denison 8.6 (8.7)

Texarkana 7.0 (6.8)

Tyler 8.0 (8.3)

Victoria 7.8 (8.1)

Waco 6.9 (7.1)

Wichita Falls 7.8 (7.9)