PA jobless rate grows despite added jobs

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 15, 2011

In only one month since the Texas Workforce Commission’s modern records began in 2005 have more people been employed in Port Arthur.

March’s employment of 21,411 people was 11 short of the record set in January 2009. Despite the high employment number and the addition of 173 jobs from the previous month, Port Arthur unemployment rate edged up to 16.5 percent, more than double the state rate of 8.2 percent.

Local officials have said that out-of-town construction workers at local industrial projects file with the local Texas Workforce Commission office when they are laid off, inflating Port Arthur’s jobless numbers.

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The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March is 8.1 percent, down slightly from 8.2 percent in February and below the U.S. unemployment rate for March of 8.8 percent. Texas nonfarm employment was up by 37,200 jobs in March for a total gain of 251,100 jobs from a year ago.