economy
1:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Holiday Hiring Helps Lower Austin Jobless Rate

New figures show the unemployment rate in Texas dropped slightly from this time last year. Texas’ jobless rate was at 8.1  percent last month, compared to 8.3 percent in November 2010.  The Texas Workforce Commission released the numbers today.

The Austin metro area’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent last month. It was 7.1 percent in November 2010. Austin lost 600 jobs last month, many in construction and professional and business services.

"The main sector that added jobs in November 2011 was the trade, transportation and utilities sector," Workforce Solutions Capital Area spokesman Weston Syththoff said. "We think that’s mostly due to holiday retail hiring. That includes all kinds of retail, trade jobs, that includes transportation, things like driving and warehousing logistics."

Sythoff says a more telling statistic of the local economy is the job growth rate. It’s been hovering around two percent since last year. Compare that to a high of around six percent in late 2006, before the recession hit.

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