By Matt Goodman

Killeen Daily Herald

In a month where unemployment rates in five states jumped to more than 12 percent, Texas incurred an increase of a tenth of a percentage point in August, bringing the state's unemployment rate up to eight percent.

The national unemployment rate hit 9.7 percent, up from 9.6 percent in July. While Texas is at eight percent, Oregon, California, Rhode Island, Nevada and Michigan all increased to more than 12 percent statewide unemployment.

"Despite our strong Texas economic foundation, the national recession is having an adverse impact on our state," said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken in a release issued Friday. "Nonetheless, the unemployment rate in Texas remained well below the 9.7 percent national rate."

From June to July, Texas posted a .4 percent increase in its unemployment rate, but added 37,900 jobs. From July to August, the state's unemployment rate raised .1 percent, but lost 62,200 nonagricultural jobs.

"Those numbers are seasonally adjusted, due to seasonal factors," said Veronica Downey, chief market analyst with the Texas Workforce Commission. "(The job losses) seem to be more prevalent in the government sector, which includes the school districts."

Downey said that because of the first day of school being later, the increase in employment in area school districts will not be included until later in the month.

In the Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area, the unemployment rate decreased .2 percent, from 7.2 percent in July to seven percent in August. This is indicative of a seasonal trend, as last August the rate went from 5.4 percent to 5.3 percent, in 2007 the rate dropped from 5.1 percent to 4.6 percent and the rate fell in 2006 from 5.7 percent to 5.4 percent.

Eighteen Metropolitan Statistical Area unemployment rates decreased, four stayed the same and two increased, which is in line with Texas' slim statewide increase in unemployment.

Contact Matt Goodman at or (254)501-7550.

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