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Unemployment increases during July

By Sherry Koonce

The News staff writer

Still in the grips of a national recession, the number of people not working locally continues to rise with the city of Port Arthur leading the unemployment line.

Statewide the number of employed Texans remained relatively steady during the month of July because of an increased workforce.

In June, the Texas labor force totaled more than 12 milion people for the first time. The Texas unemployment rate is up from 7.5 percent in June. The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fro July stood at 9.4 percent, according to a press released issued by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Locally, the number of people out of work was higher than the state and the nation.

Jefferson County’s umployed rate increased to 10.5 percent from 10.1 percent in June.

Orange County’s rate for July jumped to 11.2 percent, up from 10.5 the month before.

The city of Beaumont fared slightly better than the county as a whole with 9.1 percent unemployed compared to 8.8 percent the previous month.

Port Arthur’s unemployment rate was the highest of local cities with 14.5 percent of the labor force without a job. June unemployment totals for Port Arthur was 13.9 percent.

skoonce@panews.com