Report: Jobless rates decline

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Denton’s unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from October to November to 4.8 percent, with 3,067 people looking for work, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Compared to November 2011, the city’s unemployment rate dropped by eight-tenths of a percentage point.

“We are pleased to see the unemployment numbers,” said Erica Sullivan, economic development analyst with the city of Denton. “It is the first time it is below the 5 percent mark, pre-financial crisis levels. … That is promising.”

Denton County’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.5 percent in October to 5.2 percent in November, with 19,692 people looking for work, the commission reported. The rate is 1.1 percentage points lower than at the same time last year.

The city and county jobless rates remain below the state and national averages.

Natalie Moffitt, workforce development manager with Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, said the overall improvement in the economy is facilitating employment locally.

“Health care, information technology, leisure and hospitality [industries] are staying the strongest in our region and that includes Denton County,” Moffitt said. “Trade, transportation and the utility, oil and gas industries have also seen growth here.”

The public sector has seen declines in hiring.

“The state, city and county at all levels are continuing to look for ways to make up for their budget shortfall because of a decline in tax revenues,” Moffitt said.

Texas’ unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point from October to November to 5.2 percent. The rate is down 1.4 percentage points from November 2011.

The state added a total of 22,100 non-farm jobs in November with a total of 278,000 jobs added during the year, according to the commission’s report.

Texas Workforce Commissioner Ronny Congleton said a news release that the state’s unemployment rate was the lowest it has been since December 2008.

Eight out of 11 industries added jobs in Texas in November. Trade, transportation and utilities provided the largest employment growth with 20,600 positions added last month. The leisure and hospitality industry had its fourth consecutive month of growth, adding a total of 49,900 jobs since November 2011. Education and health services also added 4,700 jobs during the month, the commission reported.

The national unemployment rate continued to decline from October to November by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.4 percent, and the rate is down eighth-tenths of a percentage point since November 2011.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is kramirez@dentonrc.com.


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