Friday AM March 6th, 2009

New jobless numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission show Houston and the entire state are starting to feel the effects of the national recession. Jack Williams reports.
image of Texas Workforce

The new numbers show Houston's jobless rate jumped to 6.5 percent in January, up almost a full percentage point from December's 5.6 percent rate. Compared to January of 2008, the latest number has spiked by almost two percentage points. Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says the entire state is feeling the pain.

"January was a particularly tough month here in Texas as we lost 75,800 jobs. While we did a lot better as a state than the nation as a whole last year, non-the-less, we are seeing the effects of the national economic crisis."
 
Job losses hit the manufacturing and trade, transportation and utility sectors the hardest. But there was some good news.

"Texas year-over-year figures continue to fare better than the national  figures, with more than half of the industries in our state still posting positive job growth in several industries, education and health services along with leisure and hospitality showing job gains in January."

Between January of 2008 and 2009, Texas employers showed a net loss of 5300 jobs.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...