Angelina, Nacogdoches counties' jobless rates improve

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In Texas more than 300,000 jobs havebeen created in the past year

"I need 50 people here at E-techright now," said Brandon Chambers, Director of Operations, E-tech Lufkin.

E-Tech is just one of many localemployers looking for people to hire.

"As things kind of settled down alittle bit, employers feel confident they're not going to be big drasticchanges," said Maria Kassabaum, Managing Director, Work Force Solutions.

Deep East Texas counties have seenimprovement across the board, Angelina and Nacogdoches counties have seen adecrease in their unemployment rates.

This time last year unemployment inAngelina County was at 7.0 percent it's down to 6.6 percent.

"We might see this economy slowdown in the future but now right now it's going to improve a daily basis,"said Kassabaum.

One of Lufkin's largest employers,Lufkin Industries is currently hiring.

E-Tech officials say the improving economyhas allowed them grow and expand and create more job opportunities.

"It's exciting to go through andbe looking for people and to know we can go and employ folks that there is workout there for him," said Chambers.

In February, Texas added more than 80,000 jobs.Work Force Solutions Managing Director Maria Kassabaum says the increase inopportunity is vital for the Lufkin economy.

"It's critical for us to have a lot ofjobs in his area because it gives everyone a better opportunity to find jobslocally," said Kassabaum.

Officials say even though the jobs areavailable, job seekers should use their resources to be the best candidate forthe job.

"Although there is more jobs outthere I'm thinking the competition is still going be pretty tough," saidKassabaum.

State-wide the unemployment rate wentfrom 6.9 percent in January to 6.5 percent in February.

Mirroring the unemployment rates for the entire state of Texas and the Deep East Texas Workforce Development area, Angelina and Nacogdoches counties both saw improvements in their jobless rates for the month of February.

In Angelina County, 36,822 of a workforce of 39,434 were employed for the month of February. The 6.6 percent jobless rate was an improvement over the 7.1 percent reported in January. Angelina County's February 2012 unemployment rate was 7.0 percent.

Nacogdoches County also saw an improvement in its jobless numbers, going from 6.6 percent in January to 6.1 percent in February. Of an available workforce of 30,677, 28,798 were employed in February. The county's February 2012 unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

At the city level, Lufkin's jobless rate went from 6.7 percent in January to 6.4 percent in February. Lufkin had an available workforce of 15,821, and of that number, 14,814 were employed in February. The city's unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

"The Oldest Town in Texas" went from 6.9 percent in January to 6.3 percent in February. In all, 14,936 of the City of Nacogdoches' available workforce of 15,948 were employed. Nacogdoches' jobless rate was 6.4 percent in February 2012.

Statewide, the unemployment rate went from 6.9 percent in January to 6.5 percent in February. In February 2012, Texas' unemployment rate was 7.2 percent. In the 12-counties that make up the Deep East Texas Workforce Development Area, the jobless rate was 7.8 percent, an improvement over the 8.4 percent reported in January.

Here are the jobless rates for the other counties in the Deep East Texas WDA. The January figures are listed in parenthesis.

Houston County: 9.1 percent (9.6 percent)

Jasper County: 9.8 percent (10.8 percent)

Newton County: 11.7 percent (12.9 percent)

Polk County: 8.3 percent (8.8 percent)

Sabine County: 15.9 percent (16.6 percent)

San Augustine County: 10.5 percent (11.2 percent)

San Jacinto County: 7.4 percent (8.2 percent)

Shelby County: 6.8 percent (7.1 percent)

Trinity County: 7.4 percent (8.2 percent)

Tyler County: 10.0 percent (10.9 percent)

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