San Marcos, Kyle jobless rates drop again
UNEMPLOYMENT | San Marcos: 4.7% | Kyle: 4.3% | Hays County total: 5.2%
EDITOR’S NOTE: Unemployment in San Marcos fell nearly a full percentage point — from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent — during September, according to labor market statistics released today by the Texas Workforce Commission.
The city’s economy has added 905 new jobs since the start of the year for a total job pool of 24,749. About 1,200 of San Marcos’s 25,000 work-ready residents are still looking for employment.
“What we’ve seen over the past two years has been really healthy growth in the community among our local businesses despite what’s going on nationally. We’re witnessing job growth, most of it from expansion of our existing businesses, so it the unemployment rate really is tracking with what we’re seeing in our work,” said Amy Madison, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the economic development arm of San Marcos, Hays and Caldwell counties.
In Kyle, the September unemployment rate stands at 4.3 percent, down from 4.9 percent in August and 5.4 percent in January. Since the start of the year, a net total of 495 Kyle residents have found employment.
Both of the Hays County’s largest cities are faring a bit better than the county as a whole. The Hays countywide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in August, down from 6.5 percent at the beginning of the year. In neighboring Caldwell County, 6.4 percent of the labor force reports being out of work, down from 7.7 percent in January and a high this year of 8.0 percent.
» Watch the San Marcos Mercury for more coverage of what the latest jobs numbers mean for local employers and employees.
by NICK SWARTSELL
As the national employment outlook remains uncertain, Texas added 21,000 nonfarm jobs in September, according to numbers released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The gains brought the state’s unemployment rate to 6.8 percent, down from August’s 7.1 percent and well below September’s national 7.8 percent jobless rate. These gains were driven by growth in seven of Texas’ 11 major industries, most prominently the professional and business services sector, which added 13,600 jobs.
“We saw encouraging signs in our state’s labor market in September and a decrease in the unemployment rate last month,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Texas continues to add jobs, and we now have a record number of people employed in our state.”
Texas has added 267,000 jobs since last year, including 54,700 in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector. Oil and gas-producing West Texas has faired especially well, with Midland and Odessa posting the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 3.3 and 3.9 percent, respectively.
September was another strong month for the manufacturing sector, according to TWC. It has added 17,300 jobs this year.
“It is clear that employers are benefiting from the available skilled workers in our state,” said Ronny Congleton, the TWC commissioner representing labor. “I’m encouraged to see that 3,800 manufacturing jobs were added last month, which indicates a growing demand for goods made here in Texas.”
Texas shed 8,600 government jobs, a large portion of the 9,100 jobs eliminated in the sector since September last year. The government sector is the only jobs category to have negative job growth over the course of the year.
NICK SWARTSELL reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.