New Unemployment Figures Released - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/27/08-Lufkin

New Unemployment Figures Released

by Tashun Chism

Texas employers added 13,500 jobs last month. Those jobs have brought the state unemployment rate to a record low.

"The state unemployment rate is 4.3 and our deep east texas area is 5.0, which is a little bit higher than the state average," said Peggy Mucklelroy, Business Services Manager of WorkForce Solutions.

That's good news for us here in East Texas. Our economy is doing well even though many other parts of the US aren't. A big reason is East Texas is becoming a hot spot for new businesses.

"It makes more jobs for the people that are in the area. But then people come to Lufkin shopping and they spend their money here," Muckleroy said.

Even though the East Texas economy is very stable right now, officials know it's still important to help the small percentage of people who aren't employed. The closing of several East Texas factories has added to the unemployment rate.

"We really don't want the unemployment rate to be lower because if you notice, there are help wanted signs all over the place out there. People are having trouble finding qualified staff," Muckleroy told us.

Officials at Workforce Soultions of Deep East Texas work hard year round to help the unemployed find jobs they're qualified for.

"When the unemployment rate is low then there are less people out there looking for jobs so employers have a hard time looking for qualified staff. So, we really don't want it to go any lower than it is," Muckleroy said.

The construction industry added the most jobs statewide, while retail added the most here in East Texas.

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