Grayson County unemployment rate climbed slightly from 2.9 in December 2019 to January this year. The county lost roughly 400 jobs during the span. The state of Texas added 279,900 jobs during over the last year with 19,500 added over the month of January.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Deputy Director Marsha Lindsay said nothing much has changed in the past 12 months in the area, and it is typical to see a slight slump in January numbers due to the layoffs in the retail sector following the holiday season.

Lindsay said the biggest news to impact the areas job market was the Texas Instruments plant closing in the coming years.

Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai said retail sales tend to increase by 15 percent over normal during December and then drop back off by 30 percent in January. Kaai said the county hasn’t seen any significant changes in the statistics in the past three years, and Grayson County continues to see an exceptionally strong economy.

However, Kaai and Lindsay both warned the COVID-19 pandemic could have negative impact on retail and restaurant jobs in the near term.

“In January the Texas unemployment rate was unchanged and remains lower than the National unemployment rate of 3.6 percent,” Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “The Texas Workforce Commission is committed to providing career opportunities to all Texans.”

Leisure and hospitality led the job growth with 8,100 jobs added state-wide for the month. Government was second having added 4,800 jobs with education and health services slightly behind adding 4,400 jobs.

“The data shows that Texans are eager to learn new skills to advance their careers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “From apprenticeships to business leaders, Texas has a dedicated workforce that continues to make this the best workforce in the world.”

Grayson County’s 3.3 percent was in the middle of the state in terms of rates with McAllen-Edinburg-Mission reporting the highest rate at 7.6 percent. The area with the lowest rate was Midland with a rate of 2.4 percent.

“Private sector employers added 14,700 jobs added in January,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “This growth is a reflection of the state’s ability to continue retaining and attracting new companies and job seekers.”