Unemployment figures continued to rise locally and nationally in June, but Denton city and county rates remained below state and national averages.
The city had a 5.8 percent unemployment rate, up from 5.2 percent in May. The county unemployment rate rose from 5.6 percent in May to 6.1 percent in June.
Despite the increases, the city and county rates remained below the rates in June 2012, when the city had 6.1 percent unemployment and the county had 6.6 percent.
Statewide, unemployment is up four-tenths of a percentage point from 6.5 percent in May, sitting at 6.9 percent. Last June, the statewide unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.
These upward trends in unemployment are normal for this time of year, said Terry Clower, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. During the summer, some school employees and other workers are looking for seasonal work.
While unemployment in the state is up, the economy still added 5,800 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in June, and a total of 14,300 service industry jobs. Within the service jobs category, leisure and hospitality led the way by adding 4,600 jobs in June, which Clower credits to summer employment jobs related to recreation provided by employers such as Six Flags Over Texas.
Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission chairman, said in a statement that the economic growth across industries throughout the state “has proven to be diverse, consistent and long-term.”
This increase is the best sign that the economy is continuing to recover, Clower said. While unemployment has risen, this is part of the process for an economy to recover from the recession.
“As the job market has shown signs of improvement, there are people coming back into the labor force that had given up, and are now looking again so they count against the [unemployment] rate,” Clower said.
The national unemployment rate also increased this month, up to 7.8 percent in June from 7.3 percent in May. In June 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.
BY THE NUMBERS
The following chart shows the unemployment rates in the city of Denton, Denton County, the state and the nation since January.
SOURCE: Texas Workforce Commission Tracer