The Texas Workforce Commission says the state's unemployment rate of 8.2 percent is unchanged from the revised figures of December.Î¾ But Houston's rate jumped over the past month.Î¾ Tom Paulken is chairman of the TWC.Î¾
"I saw the numbers as well, and in the Houston area, you went up from 8.2 percent unemployment in December of 2009 to 8.8 percent.Î¾ But it is a real concern that a lot of people who've lost their jobs are having a hard time getting re-employed.Î¾ I think you have to look at these monthly figures not as an exact science, but in terms of trend line.Î¾ And what we've seen statewide in the last four months is (in) three of those four months we gained jobs in Texas."Î¾Î¾
The Texas labor force reached its highest total at 12.1 million workers.Î¾ Paulken says real job growth is still somewhat elusive.Î¾
"What we are not seeing is any indication that companies which have laid off workers have the confidence to go back in in a significant way and rehire people, bring them back, or add to their payrolls.Î¾ I think there's a great amount of uncertainty at the national level, and this has an impact on Texas.Î¾ Until we see an indication that unemployment nationally is coming down, I'm afraid we're going to continue to be in a pretty high range of unemployment."
The jobless rate of 8.2 percent in Texas remains well below the national figure of 9.7 percent.