New local unemployment numbers vary with towns - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

New local unemployment numbers vary throughout area

New unemployment numbers have been released for southeast Texas today, and there is good news and bad news depending on where you live. In Beaumont, unemployment fell by .2% down to 9.8%.

Folks in Port Arthur continue to experience the highest unemployment in the area now approaching 17%. In fact, unemployment grew almost a full percentage point from November to December, now settling at 16.8%.

Unemployment numbers for the counties as a whole stayed almost flat. For Jefferson County, unemployment rose from 11.4% to 11.5%.

Orange County unemployment decreased from 11% to 10.9%.

The states jobless rate jumps for the second straight month.

The Texas Workforce Commission says the unemployment rate for December was 8.3%, up from 8.2% in November.

The agency said the state also had its fourth consecutive month of job growth, adding 20,000 positions.

The state's jobless rate remains below the national rate of 9.4%, and Texas job growth is outpacing the U.S. As well.

Commission figures indicate Texas has added 230,800 jobs since December 2009 and has an annual growth rate of 2.3% compared to 0.9% nationally.

                                                        December      November     December 2009
Beaumont unemployment                     9.8               10.0                9.3
Port Arthur unemployment                  16.8              15.9               14.5
Jefferson County                                 11.5              11.4               10.5
Orange County                                    10.9              11.0               10.4


Texas Workforce Press Release

FOR RELEASE: Embargoed until 9 a.m.                     MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Givens
DATE:  January 21, 2011                                             PHONE: (512) 463-8556
Texas Employers Add 20,000 Jobs in December
Texas unemployment rate remains well below national average
AUSTIN - Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 20,000 jobs in December, representing the addition of 230,800 jobs since December 2009. At 8.3% for December, the Texas unemployment rate remains well below the 9.4% U.S. unemployment rate for December. Annual job growth in Texas is also strong at 2.3%, as compared to the U.S. growth rate of 0.9 percent.
"The annual job growth rate in Texas has steadily risen every month during the past 12 months and now stands at 2.3% for December," said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. "At the same time, Texas employers added jobs and our state ended the year with an increase of 218,200 jobs since January."

Goods-Producing industries showed strong gains in December with Construction adding 8,700 positions for a total of 32,300 jobs added over the year; Manufacturing adding 3,100 jobs for a total of 28,000 jobs added over the year; and Mining and Logging adding 1,400 jobs for a total of 29,400 jobs added over the year.
"Texas job growth across many industries offers employment opportunities for Texas workers," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "Staff at TWC and at more than 245 Workforce Solutions offices across the state stand ready to assist those job seekers who remain unemployed."

Leisure and Hospitality reported its second consecutive month of job gains with the addition of 6,600 positions in December, up by 25,000 jobs since December 2009.
Additionally, Other Services, which includes automotive, computer, office machine and appliance repair and maintenance, and service industries such as barber shops, funeral homes and business associations, increased by 3,400 jobs in December.

"The Texas labor force expanded for the fourth consecutive month, currently at more than 12.2 million individuals," said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. "Job growth in the Goods-Producing industries was positive, with annual growth rates of 14.8% in Mining and Logging, 5.8% in Construction and 3.4% in Manufacturing."

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest December unemployment rate in the state at 4.9%. The Amarillo MSA had the second lowest unemployment rate in December at 5.3%, followed by the Lubbock MSA at 5.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

Audio downloads from TWC Chairman Tom Pauken on latest labor market data are available at the following link:  http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/press/2011/praudio11.html.

Texas Workforce Commission • 512-463-8942 • http://www.texasworkforce.org • Equal Opportunity Employer Relay Texas • 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) • 1-800-735-2988 (Voice)

Please note that the unemployment estimates for the United States and Texas in this chart are "Not Seasonally Adjusted" for purposes of comparison to the "Not Seasonally Adjusted" Metropolitan Statistical Area data.

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.

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