The county’s jobless rate was 4.5 percent in January, up from the 4.3 percent rate in December. The unemployment rate usually begins to rise slightly in the spring months. The January figures are considerably better than the numbers from a year ago. There was a 5.4 unemployment for January 2013. Clint Kolby of the Washington County Economic Development Foundation believes there is nothing to be alarmed about and actually the county is moving in a positive direction.
The state’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 percent in January. Gov. Rick Perry released a statement saying that ‘everyday, more Texans are going to work, earning a living and supporting their families because the state is following a simple recipe for job creation.’ The governor says low taxes, regulations are effective and predictable, and the courts fair and schools are accountable.
Texas added 33,900 jobs in January, even as the national unemployment rate rose by one tenth of a percentage point to 6.8 percent.
The rate for county unemployment is not seasonably adjusted and that’s why not only Washington County but several surrounding counties showed rises in the unemployment rate.
Austin County’s rate rose to 5.2 percent from 4.9 percent. Burleson County’s jobless rate remained stable at 5.1 percent. Colorado County had their unemployment rate rise to 4.7 percent in January, up from 4.5 percent in December.
Fayette County recorded a 3.8 percent rate of unemployment up from 3.7 percent in December. Grimes County had a rise in their unemployment rate from 5.2 percent in December to 5.7 percent in January.
Ten of the state’s254 counties had double digit unemployment. The highest rate in the state was the border county of Starr with a 16 percent jobless rate.
Hemphill County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. That oil and gas producing county had only 2.1 percent of its workforce out of a job.