Unemployment rate drops to 6 percent

LIVINGSTON – Unemployment in Polk County fell sharply in February, dipping half a point to 6.0 percent, according to the latest information available from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The February rate represents a 0.5 percent decrease from January's 6.5 percent figure and is the lowest jobless number posted for Polk County since an identical 6.0 percent rate was listed in September 2015.

The latest rate also is tied with the 6.0 rate recorded in February 2015 but is well below the record February high of 10.1 percent recorded in 2010.

The current 6.0 percent unemployment rate translates to mean that out of an estimated workforce of 16,802, there were 1,010 county residents looking for work during the month. One month earlier, TWC's revised estimates put the local labor force at 16,691 with 1,079 people looking for jobs.

Statewide, February's actual unem­ployment rate of 4.3 percent was down from January's 4.4 percent figure and down from the 4.4 percent posted in February 2015.

When seasonal factors are added to the equation, the state's February adjusted unemployment rate was listed at 4.4 percent, which was down slightly from the 4.5 percent recorded for Janaury. The latest adjusted rate is unchanged from the 4.4 percent posted in February 2015.

The actual national unemploy­ment rate for February was listed at 5.2 percent and was down from the 5.3 percent figure recorded in Jnuary. It also was down from the 5.5 percent number in February 2015.

The February sea­sonally adjusted U.S. rate of 4.9 percent was unchanged from January but down from the 5.5 percent figure posted in February 2015.

According to TWC officials, Texas experienced its 11th straight month of seasonally adjusted job growth with the addition of 2,100 nonagricultural jobs in February.

"Texas gained 170,900 jobs over the past year," said Texas Workforce Commissioner (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. "We continue to build local partnerships to equip the current and future workforce with the skills needed for the jobs being created by Texas employers."

"Private employers have expanded their payrolls by 142,800 jobs in Texas over the past year," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. "We are pleased to see that trend continue because it reflects the strength and resiliency of our state's economy."

Texas saw employment growth in seven of the 11 major industries, including increases in all but one of the Service Providing industries. Some of those gains were offset by losses in Goods Producing industries.

Unemployment rates posted for other East Texas counties include:

FEB. %
Anderson 4.1 -0.1
Angelina 5.5 -0.3
Cherokee 5.0 -0.3
Hardin 5.4 -0.3
Harris 4.7 -0.1
Houston 4.7 0.0
Jasper 7.3 -0.4
Jefferson 6.4 -0.5
Leon 6.3 0.2
Liberty 6.8 -0.3
Madison 4.2 -0.2
Montgomery 4.4 -0.1
Nacogdoches 4.4 -0.3
Polk 6.0 -0.5
Sabine 8.7 -0.5
San Augustine 8.9 -0.7
San Jacinto 5.9 -0.1
Trinity 6.0 -0.4
Tyler 6.9 -0.2
Walker 5.0 -0.1