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Region Reaches 'Full Employment'

The local unemployment rate plunged to April to 4.4%, a figure economists consider to be 'full employment,' 1200 WOAI news reports.

The eight county metro added nearly 6,000 jobs in April, and has added more than 22,000 jobs since April of 2013.

Job gains were spread across all sectors except for 'government.'  Oil and gas, construction, leisure and hospitality, and business and professional services like lawyers and accountants all show solid gains in April.

The statewide unemployment rate also dropped in April to 5.9%, with several metros, especially energy locations like Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo, have unemployment rates of close to 2%.  Austin's unemployment rate stands at 3.8%.

Economists consider with 'churns' in the economy, including people who are between jobs and people who are on Family and Medical Leave or maternity leave, a jobless rate of between 4.0% and 4.5% indicates 'full employment.'  That doesn't mean, however, that everybody has a job.

"Our unemployment rate has not been in the '4s' since 2008," Eva Esquivel of the Texas Workforce Commission said.  "We have more jobs than we have ever had in this region, and jobseekers will become even in more demand soon."

Even places in Texas with chronically high unemployment showed strong gains in April.  Laredo's unemployment rate is 5.1%, and even the Rio Grande Valley, which generally has double digit unemployment, was at about 8% in April.

"We are fortunate in Texas to see significant growth across several industries," Texas Workforce Commissioner Ronny Congleton said. 

 

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