The economy continues to be experiencing growth in Texoma as the civilian labor force and total number of employed increased from September to October.


Texoma saw a slight increase in the civilian labor force from 64,600 to 65,000 from September to October. The unemployment rate remained unchanged for the region during that time period by holding at 2.9 percent. The number employed in October increased to 63,200 from the 62,700 from the previous month.


During the same period last year, the unemployment rate was 3.0 percent on a civilian labor force of 63,900 with a reported 61,900 employed in the area.


“Things are moving forward at a fairly rapid pace,” Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said. “I see no indication of that changing. Housing is super robust up here in Sherman and Denison. We will set a new record this year in the number of permits issued. We continue to meet with developers considering the area for all different levels of housing. That has been the most time we have spent in the last few months talking to developers regarding different types of housing projects.”


Kaai said aside from the ongoing shortage of manufacturing workers, another area that is in demand is construction workers. He said there has been a prolonged shortage of workers in that area even before the current boom began. The impact being higher construction costs.


“Many years ago there were a lot of families that lived in rural parts of the country,” Kaai said. “Those young men and women grew up doing manual things. They had some knowledge of that. They would go to high school and choose to get into the trade of construction. As rural areas shrink there is less farming. It’s going to be that way for a long time because of the movement from rural to urban. It is a national thing that has been happening. That is a shift in the culture. That was the culture that supported trades.”


The unemployment rate for Texas and the United States for the month was at 3.3 percent each.


Across Texas the area in the state with the highest unemployment rate was McAllen-Edinburg-Mission at 5.6 percent.. The area with the lowest rate in the state was Midland with 2.1 percent.


October was the fifth consecutive month of record low unemployment according to a press release by the Texas Workforce Commission. The state has seen record lows beginning in June, since reporting began in 1976.


“This is yet another historic moment for Texas. For the past five months, our unemployment rate has remained at a record low,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “It’s no surprise that our innovative businesses, hardworking labor force and strong state leadership continue to yield economic results to highlight Texas as one of the best places to work in the country.”


The release stated 297,100 jobs were added in Texas over the year.


“October labor market data is great news for Texas workers,” TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez said. “Their skills continue to be in high demand and more and more individuals are finding employment. These numbers are a wonderful reminder of why I am proud to be a Texan.”


The areas that saw the most growth for the month were the trade, transportation and utilities industries which added 9,700 jobs. Professional and business services added 6,3000 jobs with the education and health services sectors adding 5,300 jobs.


“Thanks to the hard work of Texas businesses our state’s vast economy continues to thrive with employers adding over 290,000 jobs in the last year,” TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson said. “By continuing to support local businesses, we can ensure our industries continue to flourish and set new records.


Herald Democrat reporter Richard A. Todd can be reached by sending an email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com. He can also be reached on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.