Tyler area employment has slight uptick in December

Published on Friday, 24 January 2014 20:39 - Written by By Casey Murphy, cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

The employment rate for the Tyler area was up slightly in December.

The 94.2 percent rate seen here last month was an increase from the 93.9 percent employment experienced in Tyler in November and the 93.7 percent in December 2013, according to figures released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The Texas economy saw positive job growth in December, with the addition of 17,600 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm positions over the month. Over the year, employers added 252,400 jobs.

“We continue to see growth across major industries in Texas, with all of them adding jobs over the year,” Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said in a prepared statement. “I encourage everyone who is looking for work in Texas to visit one of our local Workforce Solutions offices across the state.”

Texas’ employment rate for December — 94.4 percent — was up from 94.2 percent the month before but down from 94 percent seen across the state during the same time last year.

As it typically is, the Texas employment rate was higher than the nation’s.

The country had an employment rate of 93.5 percent in December, compared to 93.4 percent the month before and 92.4 percent the year before.

Meanwhile in Texas, nine out of 11 major industries in Texas added jobs over the month. Trade, Transportation and Utilities expanded by 8,100 positions, more jobs added than any other major industry in Texas, the commission reported. This industry also added more jobs over the last year — 68,200 — more than any other major industry, and had an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent.

“I’m glad to see expansion in manufacturing, which added 6,600 jobs, and construction, which added another 3,400,” Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton said. “Growth in these industries means more goods are being made in Texas and built in Texas, and that’s good news.”

Other industries that expanded over the month included education and health services, with 4,400 added jobs; information, which added 1,600 jobs; and mining and logging, which added 1,100 jobs.

“Our year certainly ended on a positive note, with private-sector employers adding 243,200 jobs over the year, and 18,900 jobs in December,” Workforce Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade said. “It is another positive sign that Texas is a top choice for business.”

West Texas cities continued to have the highest employment rates in the state. The Midland area remained on top, with 97.2 percent; followed by Odessa, with 96.6 percent; and Amarillo, with 96 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area remained at the bottom of the state, with an employment rate of 89.6 percent in December.