Area unemployment rates increase in June


July 24, 2010 at 2:24 a.m.
Updated July 25, 2010 at 2:25 a.m.

The Golden Crescent region saw unemployment rates shift in June, and not in the direction many people hoped.

Victoria County's unadjusted unemployment rate increased slightly, to 7.8 percent, while the Victoria metropolitan statistical area, which includes Calhoun, Goliad and Victoria counties, rose to 8 percent.

Other areas throughout the region saw rises, too.

The increase comes for a number of reasons, said Henry Guajardo, executive director for Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent.

Some of the census staff has been laid off, which affects all seven counties the workforce center oversees, he explained, and previous plant closures, such as Yoakum's Tandy Brands come into the mix.

Residential and commercial construction also remain stagnant, he added.

"It's not anything that we didn't expect already," he said of the rate increases.

Victoria resident Al Herrera said he wasn't surprised.

Although the Bush administration addressed issues overseas, it didn't meet with problems on the homefront, said Herrera, a car salesman with Victory Auto Group.

"I'm accustomed to this," he said, explaining change is coming but it will take a while. "It will eventually blow over."

The good news is the area has seen slight increases in oil and gas and the petrochemical industry, Guajardo said. The health field also remains somewhat strong.

The number of employers putting in job orders with the workforce commission is also on the rise, he said. Workforce Solutions has about 6,300 active jobseekers in the region, he added, explaining that includes unemployed people, underemployed people and those looking to switch jobs.

Guajardo said he expects things to improve as the months go on.

"We're still cautiously encouraged by what we see in an increase in job orders," he said. "It's getting slightly better."



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