|County’s jobless rate for 2006 expected to be lowest since beginning of the decade|
|Bruce Alsobrook | News-Telegram Editor|
Jan. 7, 2007 - Hopkins County should end up with one of the lowest annual employment rates in years when the final estimate for December is released later this month.
Through November, the Texas Workforce Commission has estimated the unemployment rate has fallen by an average of 0.3 percentage points per month in 2006. That decline comes despite a rise in the civilian labor force, which is the total number of people either employed or seeking work in the county.
If the trends holds true, the county should see unemployment for the year tally out to 4.2 percent. That would be the lowest jobless rate in Hopkins County since 2000, when unemployment was at 4 percent.
The highest rate in the decade was 6 percent in 2003.
What it all translates into is more people working and more money for the local economy, which was evidenced by gains in sales tax collections last year of more than 9 percent.
On average, there were 244 more people working in Hopkins County in each of the first 11 months of last year compared to 2005. If those trends hold true:
- The civilian labor force should increase from 17,574 to 17,828;
- The number of people employed in the county should rise from 16,778 to 17,022;
- The number of jobless citizens should fall from 796 to 762.