Local jobless rates rise, fall

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Report: Unemployment up from December, down from January of last year

The January unemployment rate dropped from the same time last year but increased from December, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Both the city and county dropped five-tenths of a percentage point from last year.

The city of Denton dropped from 5.9 percent in January 2012 to 5.4 percent in January 2013, according to the data.

The Denton County rate dropped from 6.4 percent in January 2012 to 5.9 percent in January 2013.

But both rates increased from December to January.

The city rate increased six-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.8 percent in December to 5.4 percent in January.

The county rate increased seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 5.2 percent in December to 5.9 percent in January.

“It’s not really a seasonal swing,” said Erica Sullivan, economic development analyst for the city of Denton, adding that the increase was felt at the state and national level as well.

But the city and county remain below the state and national average.

The state unemployment rate increased nine-tenths of a percentage point, from 6 percent in December to 6.9 percent in January, according to the commission.

Texas added 10,400 nonfarm jobs in January, the Workforce Commission reported.

Leisure and hospitality saw the greatest growth, with the addition of 8,900 jobs.

The national unemployment rate also increased nine-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.6 percent in December to 8.5 percent in January.

Sullivan said that it’s good that unemployment is lower than the same time last year but it’s still greater than it was before the economic downturn.

The unemployment figures don’t show people who are unemployed but are no longer actively looking, she said.

“It’s improving, but it’s going to be slow,” she said.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com.

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