The Texoma unemployment rate remained steady for November at 2.9 percent. According to a news release from the Texas Workforce Commission, the state has seen six straight months of record low unemployment.
The unemployment rate for the state remained at the same 3.3 percent, the same as the month prior year and on track with the rest of the country
. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area reported the highest rate in the state at 6.1 percent for the month and Midland had the lowest rate in the state holding at 2.1 for the month which was the same as October.
It's another strong month for Sherman-Denison,” Sherman Economic Development President Kent Sharp. “The economy is red hot. You had some things happen this week that are going to push the economy forward. The house passed USMCA, or the new NAFTA. The senate still has to take it up but all indicators are they will pass it. It opens a lot of markets for American products.”
The local economy is reaping the benefits of other factors including an increase in the labor participation rate, the number of those who are able to work actively working or seeking work. Sharp said all of that gets factored into the unemployment numbers.
One thing Sharp did note was the state added roughly 337,000 jobs this year. About 35,000 or nearly ten percent of them came in the last month alone.
Out of that total, he said 18 percent were manufacturing jobs, which he said bodes well for the Texoma region as manufacturing is a major force in the local economy.
“We've been in this for months,” Sharp said. “Job growth has gone up and unemployment goes down. The economy continues to be good. Out of all the numbers, I would say we have a robust economy and I don't see anything that will put an upward trend on that. It's hard to argue with the numbers.”
He said things typically go through cycles, and we're on the upward cycle right now with no signs of things slowing down. He said even the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump haven't had a negative impact on the economy.
“The day after the impeachment, the Dow Jones is 116 points shy of breaking the all-time record,” Sharp said. “This tells me the market has not been impacted by the impeachment. Right after, they passed impeachment and they passed the trade agreement that will replace NAFTA. That's billions of dollars that will be flowing into the U.S. economy.”
Another indicator of a strong local economy Sharp mentioned was the sales tax check SEDCO received from the month of October explaining how the sales tax money earned in October is collected in December.
“I've been doing economics for 29 years,” Sharp said. “We have expansions and we have a peak then we see a contraction where unemployment rises and layoffs increase as sales weaken. Then, we get to the bottom and start another expansion. We've been in expansion mode for the last five years. The last 2-3 it's been really strong. A contraction will happen at some point. I don't know when, but it won't be in the next couple of months.”
This year the October sales tax revenue just for SEDCO was a little over $340,000. He said that was almost ten percent higher than the nearly $310,000 of the previous year.