Unemployment applications drop across parts of Deep East Texas

Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission Bryan Daniel says employers are continuing to make new jobs, and the area is seeing fewer layoffs and quitting.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:43 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:44 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months. According to the U.S. Labor department, unemployment benefits applications fell 13,000 to 216,000 in the last week of August.

“Employers are continuing to create new jobs. We’re not seeing many types of layoffs, discharges, or people quitting,” said chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, Bryan Daniel.

Daniel explained people have been leaving their jobs; fewer are using unemployment benefits, “so what we see is this strong and healthy job market that continues to grow.”

According to Texas Labor Market Department, as of July the state’s unemployment rate is at 4.1%. Angelina County is 4.8%. Polk County is 6.1%. Nacogdoches County is 5.1%

“At the same time, we have more job seekers that were looking for employment,” said executive director of Texas Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas, Mark Duran

Duran said another factor that helps job seekers get a job is local leadership expanding current businesses and recruiting new business, “and with that comes the need to upskill, train your workforce to be ready to fill those jobs.”

Many industries that experienced labor shortage are now seeing relief said Duran.

“For employees that’s willing to work, and wants to work, they will teach them the skills to do the job,” he said.

Jarred Rowe is the plumbing operations manager at McWilliams & Son and said they offer a five-week course where new hires with little to no experience can study and train.

“They come out with a really great foundation and a really great fundamental understanding of the trades,” Rowe said,

“I started looking everywhere. Tried at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, the movies. Things like that,” said McWilliams & Son’s newest plumber Drake Sotel.

Sotel said he finally found a job he enjoys doing.

“This is definitely a career I’ll be sticking for awhile.”

Rowe said the company has hired 22 new employees over the last several months.

“There are so many different facets that help support the people that are in the field that you can get into, too, that are still in the same trade,”

Jobless claim applications are seen as representative of the number of layoffs. The federal reserve has been battling inflation, raising interest rates 11 times in two years.

The rate hikes are intended to cool the job market, and bring down wages, which economists believe suppresses price growth.