Rusk County’s unemployment rate continues to be on the decline since the beginning of 2019. 

According to data released by the Texas Workforce Commission Friday, Rusk County reported a 3.0 percent unemployment rate in May, the same as April but down from 3.5 percent in March and 4.0 percent in February. 

There were 665 unemployed in the county last month, slightly down from 651 in April. The county’s labor force decreased from 21,928 to 21,877. There were 21,212 employed citizens in Rusk County last month. 

Rusk County’s unemployment rate in March 2018 was 3.7 percent. 

The surrounding counties also saw a decrease in their jobless rate for the month of May. 

Cherokee had a rate of 3.0 and Panola had a jobless rate of 3.2 percent. Gregg County reported a decrease from 3.3 percent to 3.2 and Smith County’s rate was the same at 2.8 percent. 

Anderson County reported the lowest rate in the Longview-Tyler area with a 2.4 unemployment rate. 

The Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area’s jobless rate was down to 2.8 percent.  Longview’s MSA was down to 3.1 percent. The East Texas Workforce Development Area includes 16 counties, including Rusk, saw its jobless rate at 2.9 percent in May, down from 3.0 percent in April. 

Growth in the Texas economy continued in May, with 53,800 seasonally adjusted non-farm positions added over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent. May marked the fourth consecutive month of growth in 2019 for total non-farm employment. 

Construction employers added 5,800 jobs over the month while the annual growth rate increased 0.4 percent over the previous 4.4 percent in April.

The Education and Health Services industry also increased over the month with 4,300 jobs added, which contributed to an annual increase of 42,300 jobs.

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