The Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment rate declined in November by 0.3 percent, making it about the same as the nation’s but greater than Texas.
According to Texas Workforce Commission data, which did not take into account seasonal employment, the Killeen area reported a workforce 172,400 people strong, 161,000 of whom were employed. About 6.6 percent of people living in the area were unemployed in November.
In October, there was a labor force of 171,500 with 159,600 working for an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.
The state’s unemployment rate fell from 6 percent to 5.8 percent while the national unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.6 percent during the same period.
“The unemployment rate continues to decline, and that is very good,” said Susan Kamas, Central Texas Workforce development board executive director.
A contributing factor to lowering the unemployment rate was the number of jobs added to the area, Kamas said. Killeen and Temple employers created more than 1,000 jobs in November; however, some of those were seasonal.
The trade, transportation and utility sector experienced an increase of 900 jobs, Kamas said.
The finance sector was increased by about 100 jobs and the leisure and hospitality sector had about 200 jobs added.
“We continued to have new hotels and new restaurants opening and that is always good,” Kamas said.
Retail managed to stay robust in the Killeen-Temple area, and it is continuing to grow, which is helping people stay employed, she said.
“People are shopping and spending money and our economy is strong compared to other parts of the nation,” Kamas said. “We always thinking we are blessed to be in Central Texas."