LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Pretty much across the board among the 12 counties in the Deep East Texas Workforce Development Board's area, the unemployment numbers for the month of April continued their gradual improvement, mirroring the trend with the statewide jobless rates.
"They've gone down about .2, .1 percent each month since the beginning of the year and I think that's attributed to a lot of our retailers bringing on more people and some of the larger industries here like Georgia Pacific and Lockheed Martin; they're also hiring right now," said Deidra Richardson, the development manager for Workforce Solutions Lufkin.
Statewide, 11.96 million of an available workforce of 12.74 million was employed during the month of April. Texas' jobless rate went from 6.3 percent in March to 6.1 percent in April. The statewide unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in April 2012.
In Angelina County, 37,359 people were employed in April. The county had an available workforce of 39,824. Angelina County's April jobless rate of 6.2 percent was down a tenth of a percentage point from the March unemployment figure. Angelina County's April 2012 unemployment was 6.4 percent.
To the north, Nacogdoches County held steady at 6.1 percent for the month of April, compared to the 6.1 percent reported for the month of March. Last April, Nacogdoches County had a 5.8 percent jobless rate.
Lufkin saw its jobless rate decrease slightly as well, going from 6.3 percent in March to 6.2 percent in March. Of the city's 16,031-person available workforce, 15,030 were employed in April. In April 2012, Lufkin's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.
"The unemployment rate has dropped by about .4 percent, which is pretty good given that the economy is still stagnant," Richardson said. "So, we're headed in the right direction."
Exactly mirroring the Nacogdoches County numbers, the city of Nacogdoches had a 6.1 percent jobless rate in both March and April. In all, 14,821 of an available workforce of 15,790 were employed in Nacogdoches in April. The town's unemployment rate was also 6.1 percent in April 2012.
Here are the unemployment rates for the other counties in the Deep East Texas Workforce Development Board's area with the March figures in parenthesis.
- Houston County: 8.4 percent (8.9 percent)
- Jasper County: 9.6 percent (9.8 percent)
- Newton County: 11.0 percent (11.9 percent)
- Polk County: 7.8 percent (8.1 percent)
- Sabine County: 14.6 percent (15.0 percent)
- San Augustine County: 10.3 percent (10.5 percent)
- San Jacinto County: 7.2 percent (7.4 percent)
- Shelby County: 6.2 percent (6.3 percent)
- Trinity County: 7.1 percent (7.3 percent)
- Tyler County: 9.5 percent (9.8 percent)