Texoma’s unemployment dropped in October, maintaining its position below state and national numbers, the Texas Workforce Commission said in its monthly jobs report.
The report found the unemployment rate for the Sherman-Denison area fell from 3.2 percent in September to just 3 percent in October, placing it within what many experts consider “full employment.” Workforce Solutions Texoma Deputy Director Marsha Lindsey said area employers are still seeking to fill several positions. One of the biggest concerns facing area employers, she said, was the aging workforce. She emphasized it’s not just a local issue, but one afflicting employers all across the state.
“We are hearing a lot of concern at the state level with a large number of people preparing to retire,” Lindsey said. “Recruitment efforts are underway from major employers to recruit from out of state. There is an effort to increase the number of potential people in our area to seek those jobs.”
Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said he expects things to remain strong for the near future and attributed much of that to the diversity of the jobs available.
“The good news is we have metal, high-tech, back office, processing, food production, national government services — we have a very good, diverse economy,” Kaai said. “We have significant businesses in every section of the economy, that’s what makes us so strong and wonderful. We have a really good, diverse economy made up of manufacturing, health care, retail and services, and a lot of government. Each sector is fairly balanced. Health care and support of health care is No. 1. When you have a good balanced economy with all those different sections of the economy, that gives you a leg up. Some cities only have one or two employers that support the whole economy.”
He also said the economy is strong, which increases spending and pushes wages up.
“Everything is growing,” Kaai said. “People have higher incomes so they are more stable. Consumer confidence is extremely high. When you have that you have a lot of spending.”
The Texoma region also saw a rise in its workforce, the report showed. Kaai said several employers are trying to bring more people in from other places. He said there have been significant increases of people coming up from Frisco and Plano, especially.
Seasonal hiring was also touted as a contributing factor to the increased workforce. Kaai said retailers were hiring part-time workers gearing up for the season hiring process. Many of those, he said, were adding to the economy with increased spending.
The state’s unemployment rate dipped from 3.8 percent in September down to 3.7 percent for October. A press release from the Texas Workforce Commission stated this was the lowest level since the state began recording data in 1976.
“The Texas economy continues to remain strong by adding 32,300 jobs in the month of October,” Workforce Commission Chair Ruth R. Hughs said. “These numbers highlight the strategic job creation efforts of our Texas employers, and provides our world-class workforce with career options in a variety of growing industries. Texas is a state that always welcomes new employers and also supports our homegrown businesses, offering them the tools they need to succeed and build on our continued success as a global economic leader.”
Kaai said even with one area employer, CertainTeed, laying off most of its workforce, other employers were reaching out in hopes to snatch up some of those employees.
“We are in a long, sustained growing economy,” Kaai said. “There’s jobs for everyone looking for a job. Anytime you have unemployment this low for this long, wages go up, and that is good for the citizens.”