By BRAD KELLAR
There’s more good news on the local economy, as the unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in more than three years.
More people were reported at work in Hunt County last month than during any other October this century.
But it appears fewer people are available for work, as the county’s labor force continues to shrink, according to a report issued Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
The unemployment rate for October in Hunt County fell to an even 7 percent, down from 7.6 percent in September, 8.4 percent in August and 9.2 percent in July. Unemployment in Hunt County was at 8 percent in October 2011.
Last month’s jobless rate was the lowest recorded in the county since 7 percent unemployment was reported in April 2009.
There were 38,248 people reported employed in October, 100 more than in September. Hunt County has added 1,036 jobs in the past 12 months.
There were 2,862 people listed as unemployed across the county last month, a decrease of 263 people since September and 390 fewer than in October 2011.
The civilian labor force as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is used to describe those individuals who have jobs or are seeking a job, are at least 16 years old, are not serving in the military and are not institutionalized. In other words, anyone who is eligible to work.
Hunt County’s civilian labor force was listed at 41,110 people in October, a decrease of 163 people since September. The labor force has been shrinking since July, but has added 646 people since October 2011.
Hunt County is listed by the TWC as part of the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division, which also includes Dallas, Collin, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Delta County posted the division’s highest October unemployment rate, at 7.8 percent.
Dallas County reported 6.7 percent unemployment in October, Kaufman County recorded 6.5 percent unemployment and Ellis County recorded 6.4 percent unemployment last month.
Denton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the division, at 5.5 percent, followed by Collin County at 5.6 percent and Rockwall County at 5.7 percent unemployment in October.
Among other nearby counties, Fannin County posted an 8 percent unemployment rate during October, Hopkins County 5.7 percent, Lamar County 8.5 percent, Rains County 7.2 percent and Van Zandt County posted a 6 percent unemployment rate last month.