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Hopkins County, Franklin Counties Have Lowest September 2022 Unemployment Rates In WDA

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Hopkins County had the lowest September 2022 unemployment rate in the 9-county Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area. Franklin County in a close second to Hopkins 3.1 unemployment rate with a 3.4 September 2022 unemployment. That makes at least the fourth consecutive month in 2022 that Hopkins County’s rate has been the lowest in the area, according to the latest Texas Labor Market Information compiled for Texas Workforce Commission released at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2022.

Hopkins County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4% in September 2021 to 3.1%, reflecting an increase in the labor force increased from 17,978 people working in August 2022 to 18,067 in September 2022, up from 17,940 in September of 2021. Overall, 558 people in Hopkins County were unemployed in September, 28 less than in August 2022 and 154 less than in September 2021.

Franklin County’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% from August to September 2022, with three fewer people in the labor force and two fewer seeking work from month to month. That’s an unemployment dip of 0.7% from one year ago, when the labor force was 28 people fewer but 34 more people were seeking jobs.

In fact, Hopkins and Franklin Counties are the only two in the 9-county WDA that had unemployment ratees below the state average of 3.8% in September 2022. Texas’ unemployment rate has continued to dip from 5.1% in September 2021 and from 4.2% in August 2022.

“More people in Texas are working today than ever before. In fact, more people in Texas are working than the entire population of the state of Pennsylvania,” Texas Workforce Commission Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez was quoted in a release about the state’s monthly job reports. “TWC offers an array of free services to Texans to ensure their success – everything from free online learning courses to occupational training and hiring events. We’re here to help.”

Hopkins County’s jobless rate hasn’t quite reached pre-pandemic figures for September, when at least a 20-year low of 2.9% was set in 2019, but is still lower than any other September since at least 2000. The next lowest during that time was 3.3%, recorded in September 2017 and repeated in September 2018, according to TWC and TLMI reports.

The jobless average across the country has continued to drop, from 4.6% in September 2021, when almost 7.4 million of the 161 million civilian labor force were without jobs, to 3.3% last month, when approximately 5.5 million out of the 164.5 labor force in the United States were still seeking jobs, according to the TLMI information, complied in cooperation with the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics., reported Friday morning, Oct. 21, 2022.

The unemployment average for Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area in September 2022 was 4.2%, with 52 more working and 405 fewer still seeking jobs than in August 2022, when the area unemployment rate was 4.6%. That’s still better than in September 2021, when the unemployment rate was 5.2% across Northeast Texas WDA, although there were 314 more people working in NET in September 2021 than the 124,590 reported last month, when 405 fewer were seeking employment than the month before and 1,225 less than in September 2021, according to the TLMI data.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics for the Northeast Texas Workforce Development area for September 2022, data released Friday morning, Oct. 21, 2022 by Texas Labor Market and Career Information/Texas Workforce Commission

The only other county with a September 2022 unemployment rate lower than that of the Northeast Texas Workforce Development Area average was Delta County. Hopkins’ neighbor to the Northwest had a September 2022 unemployment rate of 4.1%, with 100 out of possible workforce of 2,448 still seeking employment. While the labor force grew by 8 workers from August to September of 2022, there continued to be 100 looking for jobs. Delta County had one more worker in September 2021 than last month, but had 115 who were seeking employment in September 2021, which made the unemployment rate slightly higher at 4.7% one year ago.

Unemployment declined in both Lamar and Titus Counties to 4.2% in September, the same as the NETWDAA average, with unemployment rates in thee four other counties in the workforce area exceeding the area average.

Lamar County’s jobless rate has dipped from 5.2% in September 2021, when 1,284 of 24,462 were seeking unemployment, and from the 4.4% posted in August 2022, when 49 more people were jobless and the labor force had 88 fewer people to pull from.

Titus County’s unemployment rate is down from 4.9% in September 2021, when 667 of the 13,523 labor force were unemployed, to 4.5% in August 2022, with the labor force falling to 13,604 and the number of unemployed down to 608. In September 2022, only 582 of the 13,697 people in the labor force were still unemployed, causing the jobless rate to dip to 4.2% last month.

Ranking sixth in the WDA based on September 2022 unemployment rates was Bowie County. In Bowie, 1,736 out of the 39,053 work force were reported to still be unemployed in September 2022, giving the county an unemployment rate of 4.4% last month. That’s down from 5.2% in September 2021, when 2,041 of the potential 38,951 workforce were unemployed, and a 0.4% drop from August 2022, when 1,890 of 39,132 were unemployed.

Cass County was ranked seventh in the WDA last month. A total of 545 were jobless in September 2022, down from 611 jobless the month before and 730 jobless in Cass County in September 2022. However, it should also be noted that Cass County’s labor force has shrunk over the last year, declining from 12,351 in September 2021, to 12,186 in August 2022 and 12,148 in September 2022. That has resulted in a dip in the overall unemployment rate in Cass County from 5.9% in September 2021, to 5% in August 2022 and 4.5% in September 2022.

Red River County’s September 2022 unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, down from 5.5% in September 2021, when 293 out of 5,372 potential workers were jobless, and even from the 5.3% of August 2022, when 290 of 5,432 were jobless. Last month 246 of the potential 5,388 labor force were without jobs in Red River County.

Morris County’s unemployment rate was 6.9%, the highest in the NETWDA, with 303 of a potential 4,370 workforce who were still jobless in September 2022. That’s still considerably lower than in September 2021, when 9.5% (440 of the 4,613 labor force) was unemployed and even than in August 2022, when 343 out of a potential 4,089 workforce of 4,432 were still unemployed.

Author: Faith Huffman

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