Texas unemployment rate falls sharply to 6.8% for September

Texas unemployment rate falls sharply to 6.8% for September

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Texas unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 6.8 percent in September. That's down from seven-point-one percent in the largest one-month drop in nearly 30 years, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Workforce Solutions Director Jon Bunn won't be critical of the Texas Workforce Commission pointing out a month to month record drop in unemployment.  He just doesn't usually make the comparison.

Bunn said the month-to-month numbers will drive you crazy.

"Month to month will drive you absolutely crazy," Bunn said. "They're constantly being adjusted."

Bunn advises to county officials to seek a year-to-year comparison for trends in the labor market.

In September, unemployment for Deep East Texas was at 7.5 percent. A year ago, it was much higher at 9.2 percent.

Bunn said right, things are trending better.

"Right now, our trend is obviously better than it was this time last year," Bunn said.

But dig a little deeper to the labor force numbers. There are fewer East Texans than last year actively looking for work. So what happened to a couple thousand people once looking for a job?

"A lot of things,." Bunn replied "It could mean they have retired. It could mean they have moved out of our area. Or it could mean they have simply given up looking."

But what's most likely?

"We're seeing it more and more; they've just flat given up," Bunn said.

Bunn, a self admitted political junkie says no one is better at spinning the employment numbers than political candidates. He prefers himself, to helping people land jobs that are out there.

Today there are more than 200 job openings in Lufkin and 150 in Nacogdoches, Bunn said.

"Just looking at Angelina County this very morning, there's over 200 different employers that have posted job openings in Angelina County," Bunn said. "There were 150 job openings posted as of this morning for Nacogdoches County."

Employers still struggle finding skilled workers, and job hunters are still contending with low wages. Some trends just never change.

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