Hopkins County continued to maintain the lowest unemployment rate in the region in April, and by a pretty hefty margin.
The Texas Workforce Commission estimated unemployment in the county in April stood at 4.8 percent, down from the 5 percent figure tallied in March.
Like practically every other area in the nation, unemployment was well above the rate recorded one year ago. In April of 2008, Hopkins County’s jobless rate was estimated at 3.6 percent.
But the local labor market is doing much better than any of Hopkins County’s neighbors, according to the latest report by the state workforce agency. Of the seven nearest counties — Delta Franklin, Hunt, Lamar, Rains, Titus and Wood — only Franklin County has an unemployment rate below 6 percent, and even then the jobless rate is 5.3 percent, a full 0.5 percentage points higher than Hopkins County.
Wood County had the highest rate at 6.7 percent, followed by Hunt and Delta counties at 6.6 percent each. Rains County’s jobless rate stood at 6.4 percent, followed by Lamar County at 6.3 percent and Titus County’s 6.1 percent.
All eight counties saw unemployment rates decline from March, as each saw improvements in both the number of people with jobs as well as the civilian labor force, which is the number of folks either working or actively seeking employment.
In Hopkins County, the number of people with jobs also improved from March to April, as well as from one year ago. The number of people in the county with jobs last month was estimated at 16,940, up from March’s 16,649. In April of 2008, the number of county residents with jobs stood at 16,701.
Five of the other nearby counties — Franklin, Hunt, Lamar, Titus and Wood — also saw the number of its citizens working increase from April of 2008.
Seeing the unemployment rate fall from March to April was not wholly unexpected — in fact, it continues an expected trend toward lower unemployment totals heading into the summer. The unemployment rate generally goes down every month from February through June, when school ends and more high school and college students begin to seek summer jobs.
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