State/Local Unemployment Rates Improve

Houston and Texas show improvements in the rate of unemployment. Figures released today by the Texas Workforce Commission indicate the state unemployment rate dropped to the lowest it has been all year. Laurie Johnson reports.

The state unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in September. That’s down from 8.3 percent the month before.
Ann Hatchitt with the Texas Workforce Commission says Texas continues to trend significantly lower than
the national unemployment rate, which is 9.6 percent.

“Also we’re back to 8.1 percent, which is where a year ago, so that’s good. We’re hoping that means things will start getting better. The other thing to note is that we’ve seen Texas employers add 152,000 jobs since last year, so that’s great for Texas and very different from what we’re seeing in other parts of the country.”

Here in Houston, the unemployment rate dipped down significantly, to 8.2 percent in September, down from
8.6 percent in August.

“There was the addition of 4,800 jobs in the Houston area in September, 2010. Many of those jobs were local government education jobs. We’re seeing those hourly workers such as custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers — those people are going back to work in September and that was a large amount of the job growth for the Houston area in the month of September.”

Hatchitt says one key indicator of economic health in Texas is in the manufacturing sector. Texas has added 24,500 manufacturing jobs this year. That’s 68 percent off all the manufacturing jobs added in the entire country.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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