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Unemployment rates continue to drop

Profile image for By Karina Ramirez / Staff Writer
By Karina Ramirez / Staff Writer

Denton city and county unemployment figures show decreases over the first four months of this year.

In April, the county rate dropped by four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.7 percent in March to 5.3 percent and the city’s jobless rate also dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point last month to 4.9 percent after remaining unchanged in February and March.

A year ago, the city had a 5.2 percent unemployment rate, while the county’s rate was 5.8 percent.

The nonadjusted unemployment figures remain below the state and national averages.

Natalie Moffitt, workforce development manager with Workforce Solutions of North Central Texas, said Denton County’s diverse industry is the key reason that unemployment figures continue to decline.

“In Denton County, there is not just one industry,” she said. “We have health, government, construction and transportation, so that helps us,” she said.

Statewide figures show a decline of four-tenths of a percentage point from March to April. The year-to-year comparison also showed a decrease from 6.5 percent to 6.1 percent.

Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission chairman, said in a statement that all major industries in the state added jobs during the last 12 months.

One of the state’s largest workforce segments — trade, transportation and industries — has added 58,400 jobs since last year, the numbers show. Last month, it added 16,000 jobs. The state said in the past month that eight of the 11 major industries in the state showed growth, including professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.

Moffitt said residential construction in Denton County is doing fairly well, and she also believes the county to be the beneficiary of what is going on in the oil and gas industry.

Nationally, unemployment numbers also show a decline from 8.5 percent in January to 7.1 percent in April. The Texas State Comptroller’s Office revealed that earlier this month, Texas and the nation had returned to economic growth in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

In 2012, Texas’ real gross domestic product grew by 3.2 percent, compared with 2.2 percent for the U.S., according to the comptroller’s office.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.