County jobless rate lowest in area
About 350 jobs added from June to July
Bruce Alsobrook | News-Telegram Editor

Sept. 12, 2005 - Hopkins County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the area in July, and it was because of more jobs, not fewer people out of work. 

The county’s unemployment rate for July rang up at 4.3 percent, down from 4.7 percent in June and 5.4 percent lower than one year previous.

And the numbers are a sign of more work for more people locally, as the county gained about 350 jobs from the previous month and almost 500 from one year ago. According to estimates by the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of jobs in Hopkins County totaled 17, 220 in July, up from 16,877 in June of this year.

In July of 2004, the TWC estimates put the number of people employed in the county at 16,732

The hiring jump more than kept pace with increasing numbers of ready, willing and able workers. The county’s civilian labor force — the number of people actively working or seeking work — jumped more than 300 from one year ago. In July of 2004, the CLF stood at 17,682; two months ago, it had risen to 17,996.

All counties in the area saw unemplyment rates either drop or stay the same from June to July of this year, and the figures look even better when compared to one year ago — the labor market in each county improved markedly from July of 2004.

Percentage-wise, the biggest improvement came in Delta County where unemployment dropped from 8.2 in July of 2004 to 5.6 percent the same month this year.

Hunt County unemployment fell from 6.4 percent last year to 5.2 percent in July, while Rains County also dropped 1.2 percentage points, falling from 5.9 percent to 4.7 percent. They were followed by Hopkins County, Wood County (6.1 percent to 5.3 percent), Titus County (5.5 percent to 4.8 percent), Lamar County (6.5 percent to 5.9 percent), and Franklin County (4.8 percent to 4.5 percent).

The improved labor market in each county came as the result of an increase in the number of jobs from the previous year. Hunt County saw the biggest gain as its 37,859 jobs were 865 more than in July 2004, followed by Titus County, where the number of jobs climbed from 14,347 to 14,860. Hopkins County had the third-highest job expansion, rising by 488 jobs to 17,220.

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