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Area unemployment steady with sub-4 rate in May

Area unemployment steady with sub-4 rate in May

WASHINGTON: The Wichita Falls Multiple Statistical Area’s unemployment rate for seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs remained better than state and national averages in May in year-over-year and month-over-month comparisons. According to the Texas Workforce Commission and the Department of Labor and Statistics, the Wichita Falls MSA consisting of Archer, Clay and Wichita counties recorded any unemployment rate of 3.9 percent for the second straight month. That rate was also better than the 4.1 percent reported in May 2016.

The national rate in May was 4.1, which mirrored April’s figure and bested the May 2016 mark of 4.5, according to the Labor Department. The state rate was 4.4 in May, which is slightly up from 4.3 percent in May 2016. The rate in May for the state was also better then the 4.5 percent recorded in April. Two industries in the Wichita Falls MSA registered a year-over-year increase in jobs. Education and health services increased by 100 from 9,700 to 9,800, and leisure and hospitality jumped up by 200 jobs from 6,500 to 6,700. Three areas in the MSA experienced declines in employment including: trade, transportation and utilities with a loss of 300; mining, logging and construction lost 200; and professional and business services lost 100 jobs. The net loss in the MSA year over year was 300. The 11-county North Texas Workforce Development Area also experienced a year-over-year and month-over-month improvement with the unemployment rate. The WDA in May recorded a rate of 4 percent, which is better than 4.1 percent in April and 4.2 percent in May 2016.

Of the 10 industries projected to grow the fastest, six of them are in health care to include home health care services at about 39 percent; nursing care and skilled nursing facilities at 35 percent; doctors offices at about 31 percent; other health practitioners officer at 30 percent; residential mental health facilities at about 29 percent; and general medical and surgical hospitals at about 21 percent. Other industries projected to grow include grocery stores, general freight trucking, religious organizations and child day care services.

Employment by ownership shows that the majority of jobs are in the private sector at 76 percent, and local, state and federal government jobs make up the remaining 24 percent, with local government employing the most at 15 percent. The WDA consists of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Jack, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger and Young counties. Regarding individual counties in the area, Baylor County registered the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, followed by Archer County at 3.8, and Clay and Wichita counties at 3.9 percent. Wilbarger County had the highest unemployment rate at 4.9 percent, followed by Montague County at 4.5 percent.