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  • Saturday, May 20, 2017
    Jobless rate drops to 4.4%

    Washington County’s jobless rate has dropped to its lowest level in almost 18 months, figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show.

    The April unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, the country’s lowest since it dipped to 4.2 percent in January 2015.

    Last month’s labor force was 15,016, with 665 unemployed.

    The March unemployment rate was 5.3 percent (work force of 15,076, with 799 unemployed). The April 2016 jobless rate was 4.7 percent.

    The Texas economy expanded in April with the addition of 30,400 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs, the TWC said. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5 percent.

    “Texas employers continue to create jobs in the broad based Texas economy with 10 of the 11 industries expanding over the year,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “With the addition of 258,900 jobs over the past year, TWC remains committed to providing the services needed to get Texans back work.”

    Employment in the education and health services industry recorded the largest private-industry gain over the month with 10,400 jobs added. Manufacturing employment grew by 8,100 jobs in April, and professional and business services employment expanded by 7,400 jobs.

    The Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 3 percent, followed by the Austin-Round Rock, College Station-Bryan and Lubbock MSAs with a rate of 3.2 percent.

    April jobless rates for surrounding counties were (the March comparisons are in parentheses):

    • Austin County — 4.7 percent (5.4).

    • Brazos County — 3 percent (3.4).

    • Burleson County — 4.2 percent (4.7).

    • Fayette County — 3.3 percent (3.9).

    • Grimes County — 6 percent (6.7).

    • Lee County — 3.6 percent (4.2)

    • Waller County — 5.1 percent (5.7).

    Source: Brenham-Banner Press