The Texoma area's unemployment numbers dipped slightly for the month of June. From May to June, the rate went from 2.6 percent to 3.1 percent.

Statewide, the Texas unemployment rate climbed narrowly from 2.9 percent in May to 3.6 in June making the region right in line with the state.

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“Three percent is the norm now,” Workforce Solutions Texoma Deputy Director Marsha Lindsay said. “Four percent is the ceiling for full employment as long as the economy remains as strong as it currently is.”

Nationally, the rate went from 3.4 percent to 3.8 percent during the same time.

Lindsey said the economy remains strong overall and there has been a trend in the area keeping the unemployment rate at or near 3 percent.

The most likely cause for the increase can be attributed to some employers laying off workers as they adjust their budgets for the summer months, Lindsey said. This is not an indicative of a trend, as most of those workers were able to find employment elsewhere, she explained.

“We have been getting reports of that (layoffs) in the last month,” Lindsey said. “They (workers) are not having trouble finding jobs. People are willing to hire people who have skills and proven success showing up to work.”

Workforce Solutions offers job replacement training, and according to Lindsey, there has not been a significant amount of workers who had been laid off seeking that training, which is a good sign because it means they already have the skills other employers in the area are seeking.

“We're in a very unique point in time,” Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said of how the economy is still hot in Texome. “When you look at the history of the economy, not only in the Sherman and Denison area, but the entire United States as a regional area, it's never happened like this in recent history, to our knowledge. It is unique to be experiencing this robust of an economy, providing this kind of opportunity for anyone at any skill level to find a job.”

Lindsey said the aging workforce continues to be a topic as employers are looking to hire people to replace the increasing number of individuals preparing to retire. Unless the economy changes drastically, the numbers should hold steady because local cities continue to focus on economic development in efforts to bring more people to the area, and there is a lot of work and thought going into those efforts right now.

Kaai said he thinks it would take something major on the national or international scale to affect the local economy. He cited the trade war with China or a prolonged major military conflict as potential global events that could have a negative impact on the local economy.

“We don't have any sectors that are struggling,” Lindsey said. “Health care always has a need for qualified nurses. That is such a specific occupation you can't go into that field without the proper credentials. We could always use more nurses. There is always efforts to recruit in that area.”

Sherman Economic Development Corp. Executive Vice President Stacey Jones said that the region has been below four percent since 2015, and emphasized that one area was beginning to show fruit is with the Advanced Manufacturing Program, which is designed to train students in high school to get into skilled manufacturing positions to replace the aging workforce getting closer to retiring.

She said interest in the AMP program has been increasing as more students are looking at the industries in the area.

Richard A. Todd is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at RTodd@HeraldDemocrat.com.