Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 22, 2013

Unemployment rate jumps a percentage point in county

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The unemployment rate in Henderson County jumped a full percentage point in January, according to information released this month by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The county rate had been steadily declining in the latter part of 2012, until it reached 6.7 percent in December.  The 7.7 percent reading in January is the highest since 7.8 was recorded last July.  The January unemployment rate is not seasonably-adjusted, as are the national and state rates.  

The TWC reports that the Texas unemployment rate for January rose slightly to 6.3 percent, but remained well below the national rate. The jobless rate was 6.2 percent in December, and 7.2 percent in January, 2012. Nationwide, unemployment for January was 7.9 percent, and slipped to 7.7 percent in February.

Henderson County annually sees a post-Christmas unemployment increase, but the latest is higher than most years. From December, 2011 to January, 2012, the increase was from 7.7 to 8.1 percent. The previous year, the jump was from 8.2 to 8.7 percent.

The county workforce grew from 35,166 to 35,406 from December to January, while the number employed decreased from 32,796 to 32,685.  The number unemployed was from 2,370 to 2,721.

Job seekers in Henderson County can get assistance at the East Texas Workforce Center, at 205 N. Murchison St. in Athens. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call ETWC at 903-677-3521.

The following is a list of area counties, the January, 2013 unemployment rate, followed by December 2012.

 • Anderson — 8.0, 6.9

 •  Ellis — 7, 6.3

 •  Kaufman — 7.1, 6.2

 •  Navarro — 8.1, 6.8

 •  Van Zandt — 6.6, 5.8