Nonagricultural employment expanded by an estimated 36,600 positions in October, according to a Friday report from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Employment numbers are trending upward statewide, but the report reveals stagnation in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood area. Employment increased by 0.9 percent in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood area between September and October. Statewide, the increase was 2.6 percent.
“Typically, our growth tends to be lower simply because we didn’t see as much of an increase in unemployment,” said Wendy Ann Damon, career center supervisor at Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. “Because we didn’t have drastic unemployment changes, we will not have drastic changes in re-employment.”
According to the report, the area has a labor force of 171,789 with total employment of 159,726.
With 12,063 looking for work, the unemployment rate is 7 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent. Nationwide, it’s 7.9 percent.
“We always have many individuals that relocate here and that, of course, increases the potential pool of employees, which then can increase the unemployment rate because there is more competition,” Damon said.
The only areas to show modest growth locally between October and November were government and education and health services, which grew by 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
“Those areas are demand occupations for the Central Texas region,” Damon said. “I don’t think there is anything to be worried about because the numbers are low. ... They will continue to increase.”