Texoma’s unemployment remained below state and national numbers with near historic low levels for the month of September, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday in its monthly jobs report.
The report found the unemployment rate for the Sherman-Denison area remained steady at 3.2 percent in September, as it had for the previous month. The area’s 3.2 percent rate also mirrored the rate from September 2017, placing it within what many experts consider “full employment.”
The report showed the number of people entering the workforce also increased along with the number of people moving into the county. With that, Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said he believes the area is starting to see the increase in available workers several employers have been waiting for. He said a small housing market remains the major setback for employers seeking to fill so many vacant positions.
“The demand for employees has outstripped the available housing for the last couple years,” Kaai said. “Houses are now catching up to demand. The more housing gets going, the more people will get up here. The labor market drives housing, which has been steady for the last three years. We’re going to continue to see that.”
Workforce Solutions Texoma Deputy Director Marsha Lindsey pointed out the area added 1,127 workers from September of last year to this year, bringing the total number of employed workers for the county to 61,381.
“I think this is a good thing adding over 1,100 people employed from last year,” Lindsey said. “We’ve been pretty steady in the low 3 percent for a while. I was surprised to see we were exactly at the same percent last year. We have consistently been below Texas and the national rate. We are doing much better than the rest of the state and country here in Grayson County. It’s possible people are moving up here to take job openings. We’re hearing from our employers there are job openings.”
Employment estimates released by the Texas Workforce Commission, which were produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, show the U.S. unemployment rate for September was 3.6 percent, while Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent. The area with the highest rate in the state was the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 6.2 percent. The lowest rate recorded in the state was 2.2 percent in Midland.
“Texas’ continued addition of jobs over a twenty-seven month period demonstrates the competitive advantage and market opportunities available to our Texas employers and world-class workforce,” Texas Workforce Commission Chair Ruth Ruggero Hughs said in a press release.
Lindsey said fewer people are being laid off and those those that are have been finding employment really quickly as there are so many opportunities.
“Texas has seen a positive change in mining, logging construction, professional services, goods producing and hospitality,” Lindsey said. “All of our employers are losing some of those retirement people. Many of those employers are getting anxious to get new people in to learn from the seasoned people to ensure they get trained before they start losing so many to retirement.”