Local unemployment rate slightly decreases

According to the Texas Work Force Commission, the unemployment rate in Huntsville is 3.4 percent as of March 2003.

The labor force comprises 12,720 residents of the population, with 12,289 employed and 431 unemployed. In January and February, the unemployment rates were 3.7 and 3.5 percent, respectively.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 6.6 percent in February to 6.7 percent in March. However, six nonagricultural industries experienced job growth in March and 9900 new nonagricultural positions were created.

There are eight categories of nonagricultural industries, and six of them experienced growth in the month of March.

The industries that experienced increase include construction, manufacturing, communication, finance-insurance-real estate, services and government.

Employment in the construction industry experienced a growth of 1700 new positions. However, employment in the trade, transportation and utilities job markets experienced a decline with a drop of 5,000 jobs.

The highest unemployment rate in March was in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area with a rate of 13.5 percent and the lowest unemployment rate was in Bryan-College Station with a rate of 1.9 percent. Houston had an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.

According to the Labor Market Information Department, the largest projected increase in employment from 2000 until 2010 is the services industry, with a projected increase of 22,020 jobs. The second highest projected growth is in the trade industry, with a growth of 10,560.

The next highest is the manufacturing industry with a growth of 6,440 and government with 3,350. Projected growth for the construction industry is 2,550, and 2,200 for the agricultural industry.

Projected growths of other industries include transportation with 1,830, finance, insurance and real estate with 1,260, communications and utilities with 980 and mining with a decline of -370.

According to the Labor Market Information Department, some of the jobs in the East Texas area with the highest projected number of available openings for 2001-2003 include stock clerks and order fillers with an average of 200 openings.

Jobs for general office clerks have a projected growth of 155 openings and nursing attendants have a projected average growth of 140 openings.

Some jobs in the East Texas area with the highest pay include chief executives with an average salary of $86,924 per year, computer hardware engineers with $73,860, and landscape and naval architects with a salary of $50,178.

The largest projected increase in employment from 2000 until 2010 is with accountants and auditors, an increase of 51,430 jobs. The smallest projected change is with zoologists and marine biologists with a change of zero.

A few jobs will be in very high demand in the next few years, according to the Texas Work Force Commission. Texas will need over 82,000 teachers by the year 2008, and that the demand for math teachers is especially high.

Within the next seven to 10 years, there will be a need for over 57,000 systems analysts, database administrators, and computer support specialists.

Also, there will be a need for up to 138,000 licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurses aides within the next seven to 10 years.

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