Longview-area unemployment up slightly in May – Longview News-Journal

The Longview-area unemployment rate ticked up slightly in May but remained below both the statewide average and year-ago levels, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday.

At 4.5 percent, May’s rate for the three-county Longview metro area was up slightly from 4.3 percent in April and 5.7 percent a year ago.

Statewide, the unemployment rate declined a third straight month, to 5.1 percent. That compares to 5.2 percent unemployment in April, according to commission figures. A total of 383,100 jobs were added across Texas in the past 12 months, making it the largest over-the-year job increase in Texas in nearly 17 years.

The Texas unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in March, after holding steady in January and February at 5.7 percent.

Nationwide, the jobless rate was unchanged in May at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported earlier.

Gov. Rick Perry welcomed the state’s May economic figures.

“Texas continues to be the epicenter of job creation in America and today’s numbers are further proof that if you want a job, or your company needs employees, Texas is the best place in America to find both,” Perry said.

Texas was among 20 states that saw declines in unemployment rates last month, the Labor Department said, while nearly three-quarters of states added jobs.

The biggest declines in unemployment rates occurred in Illinois, where the rate fell to 7.5 percent from 7.9 percent, and Massachusetts, where it fell to 5.6 percent from 6 percent. Georgia reported the largest increase, to 7.2 percent from 6.9 percent.

In Texas, the annual growth rate climbed to 3.4 percent in May, the state’s highest since November 2012, the workforce commission said.

Employers in all 11 major industries in Texas expanded payrolls in May. Education and health services expanded the most, adding 12,400 jobs. Mining and logging posted the highest annual growth rate among the major industries at 7.4 percent, the commission said.

“It is good news for job seekers when Texas industries grow across the board,” said Commissioner Ronny Congleton.

Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities expanded by 11,800 jobs over the month, for a total of 86,300 jobs added in the last year, the commission reported.

Midland had the lowest unemployment rate statewide last month at 2.6 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest unemployment rate in Texas during May at 8.6 percent.

Longview-area unemployment up slightly in May – Longview News-Journal

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