The jobless rate in Rusk County dipped last month, according to data released by the Texas Workforce Commission. 

The county’s unemployment rate decreased to 3 percent in April, down from 3.5 percent in March. There were 651 unemployed last month in Rusk County, down from 778 in March. The county’s labor force was down to 21,956 and the number of people employed decreased to 21,305.

Surrounding counties also saw decreases in their jobless rates in April. Gregg County reported a 3.3 percent jobless rate, Panola County’s was down to 3.1 and Smith’s was 2.8 percent. 

The East Texas Workforce Development Area includes 16 counties, including Rusk. It saw its jobless rate decrease from 3.6 percent in March to 3 percent in April. There are 11,626 unemployed in the East Texas WDA. 

The Longview MSA’s jobless rate was down from 3.8 percent to 3.2 percent. Tyler’s was down to 2.8 percent. 

Growth in the Texas economy continued in April, with 28,900 seasonally adjusted non-farm positions added over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell once more to 3.7 percent, returning to an all-time record low last held in December of 2018. April marked the 108th consecutive month of annual growth for total non-farm employment.

Private sector employers added 283,000 jobs over the year. Private annual employment growth was at 2.7 percent in April and has held above 2.0 percent since October 2017.

“As the Texas labor force reaches a historic number, TWC and our 28 local workforce boards are as committed as ever to connecting Texas workers with available jobs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez in a TWC press release. “Through career and technical education and training incentives Texas can continue to produce the country’s most skilled workers.”

Professional and Business Services led all major industries over the month, adding 8,400 jobs. Construction added 5,800 over the month while Education and Health Services employment grew by 4,300 jobs.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded April’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 1.7 percent, followed by the Odessa MSA which recorded at 2.0 for the second lowest rate. The Amarillo MSA had the third lowest rate of 2.1 percent.

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