Valley jobless rates spike higher in June

HARLINGEN — The unemployment rates for the Valley’s two metropolitan statistical areas showed sharp rises for June, but still remain under the numbers of one year ago.

The Texas Workforce Commission report shows the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA with a 6.9 percent jobless rate, up from 6.0 percent for May. Last June it was 7.5 percent.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA posted a June jobless rate of 7.2 percent, a rise from 6.2 percent in May. Last June the MSA’s jobless rate was 7.9 percent.

Texas posted its 24th straight month of employment growth, adding 27,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in June. For the year, Texas has added 359,500 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.9 percent.

Private-sector employers added 26,400 positions over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in June, down slightly from May 2018.

June’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 5.8 percent. Over the month, Mining and Logging added 4,900 jobs, followed by the Construction industry with 2,900 positions, while Manufacturing employment expanded by 2,600 positions, TWC said in its monthly report.

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Professional and Business added 7,300 positions over the month, and led all industries in job growth for June. Also within this sector, Education and Health Services added 6,000 jobs, followed by Leisure and Hospitality with a gain of 3,500 positions.

The Midland MSA recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA, which had the second-lowest with a rate of 3.1 percent. The Austin-Round Rock, and Odessa MSAs recorded the third-lowest rate of 3.2 percent for June.

“All Goods Producing industries showed positive employment growth in Texas, including Construction, which expanded by 2,900 jobs in June,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “The Texas labor force has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing.”

rkelley@valleystar.com