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September 2021 Unemployment Rates Below State Average In Only 3 Counties In NET Workforce Development Area

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Unemployment on average continued to decline, although by less than 1 percent, across the state last month as was the case for all except one county in Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area. Franklin, Hopkins and Delta were the only counties in the nine-county Northeast Texas WDA with September 2021 unemployment rates below the state average of 4.9 percent, according to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics report published by Texas Labor Market Information for Texas Workforce Commission. In fact, while unemployment as a whole declined from 5.4 percent in August 2021, the Northeast Texas WDA unemployment rate of 5.2 percent was still 0.7 percent higher than the state average.

Franklin County continued to lead the local WDA with a 4 percent unemployment rate, which could be due in a decrease in the civilian labor force, from 5,322 with 5,098 working in August 2021 to 5,269 with 5,058 working in September. Both months are better than in September 2020, when Franklin County had a 5.4 percent unemployment rate, with only 4,598 of the civilian labor force of 4,859 employed.

Hopkins County finished just behind Franklin County with 4.1 percent unemployment rate for September 2021, down from 4.3 percent in August 2021 and 5.3 percent in September 2020. While smaller than the 17,608 of September 2020, Hopkins County’s civilian labor force grew from 17,396 in August 2021 to 17,513 in September 2021. The number of people unemployed also has continued to decline from 927 in September 2020 to 748 in August 2021 and 710 unemployed Hopkins County residents last month.

The 4.1 percent unemployment rate in Hopkins County in September 2021, is the lowest since COVID shutdowns caused the unemployment rate to rise from 3.1 percent in January and February 2020 to 4.3 percent in March 2020 and 7.8 percent in April. While much improved, the September 2021 unemployment rate is still higher than the 21-year September record low of 2.9 percent set in 2019. The average so far for the first 9 months of the year for Hopkins County is a 4.9 percent 2021 unemployment rate.

Delta County’s September 2021 unemployment rate is less than the 4.9 state average and 5.2 percent WDA average. The overall unemployment rate for Delta County, however, did not change from August to September 2021. The Delta County unemployment rate did dip from 5.5 percent in September 2020 to 4.7 percent in August 2021 and September 2021. Delta County’s civilian labor force of 2,418 in September 2021 was two more than last year, and 16 more than in August 2021. A total of 2,283 people were unemployed in September of 2020, rose to 2,288 in August 2021 and 2,305 in September 2021.

Titus County’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in September 2021, with 661 of the 13,291 member CLF without employment. That’s down from 6.7 percent one year before, when 912 of 13,517 CLF were unemployed and 709 of 13,190 CLF unemployed in August 2021.

Bowie and Lamar Counties each matched the NETWDA unemployment rate of 5.2 percent for September 2021.

That’s a 0.6 percent drop from August 2021 to September 2021 and almost a full 2 percent drop from the 7.3 percent unemployment rate post in September 2020 for Bowie County. The CFL rose from 38,540 in August 2021 to 38,844 in September 2021, which were both less than the 38,893 CFL reported in September 2020. The number employed has continued to rise along with the CLF, from 36,052 employed in Bowie County in September 2021, to 36,391 in August 2021 and 36,844 in September 2021.

The unemployment rate in the city of Texarkana in Bowie County dropped from 8.1 percent in September 2020 to 6.5 percent in August 2021 and 5.5 percent in September 2021. The CLF hasn’t quit returned to the 15,065 of September 2020, but the did increase from 14,925 in August 2021 to 14,968 last month. The number employed has continued to rise, from 13,843 in September 2020 to 13,972 in August 2021 and 14,141 in September 2021, leaving 827 unemployed last month compared to 953 unemployed in Texarkana one month before and 1,223 one year before.

Although below the WDA average, Lamar County did experience a 0.2 percent increase from August 2021 to September 2021, but still a 1.3 percent decrease in unemployment over September 2020. This is due in part to a rise in Lamar County’s CLF from 24,132 in August 2021 to 24,248 in September 2021, both of which are up from the September 2020 CLF of 23,904. While 1,558 were unemployed in September 2020 in Lamar County, only 1,211 members of the CFL were without jobs in August 2021, and 1,272 in September 2021.

The unemployment rate in the city of Paris, in Lamar County, has continued to decline from 7.5 percent with 868 of the 11,551 CLF unemployed in September 2020, to 702 of 11,660 unemployed in August 2021 and 668 of 11,652 unemployed in September 2021, according to the TMLI data.

Red River County’s unemployment rate of 5.6 percent was unchanged from August 2021 to September 2021, both less than the 6.3 percent unemployment rate recorded for September 2020. The civilian labor force in Red River County increased by only one person from September 2020 to 4,237 in August 2021, although the number employed rose from 4,906 in September 2020 to 4,944 in August 2021.. The CLF shrunk to 5,209 in September 2021, and the number of employed shrank to 4,919 last month.

Cass County’s unemployment rate fell 2.4 percent from 8.4 percent with 1,036 of the 12,396 CFL without employment in September 2020 to 6 percent with 720 of the 12,061 member CFL without employment in September 2021. Month over month, the unemployment rate dropped for 0.4 percent with 774 of the 12,149 member CLF unemployed in August 2021.

Rounding out NET WDA list is Morris County, which continues to have the highest jobless rate of 9.8 percent, with 437 of the 4,470 member CLF without jobs in September 2021. That’s still down from 13.8 percent with 657 of the 4,761 member CLF unemployed one year before. The September 2021 unemployment rate was also 0.6 percent lower than one month before, when 466 of 4,498 were without jobs.

September 2021 Local Area Unemployment Statistics (Credit: Texas Labor Market Information for Texas Workforce Commission)
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Author: Faith Huffman

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