BEEVILLE – Bee County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in February over the previous month. Last month’s rate was 5.8 percent, up from 5.7 percent in January but still lower than the 6.8 percent rate a year ago.
According to Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, which gathers the statistics, February’s rate of 5.8 percent is lower than the state average of 5.9 percent and considerably lower than the nation’s February rate of 7 percent—which was unchanged from the month before.
Unemployment rates in Live Oak, McMullen and Refugio counties all dropped last month.
Live Oak County’s February rate was 3.5 percent, down from January’s rate of 3.6 percent. McMullen County’s rate of 2.3 percent last month is down from 2.7 percent the month before and Refugio’s 3.4 percent in February was down from 3.6 percent in January.
In Bee County, 829 people out of a labor force of 14,234 are unemployed. Of McMullen County’s 907 labor force, 21 are out of work.
A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas noted that Texas experienced more job growth at all pay levels than any other state in the nation from 2000 to 2013. The highest rate of job growth in Texas occurred in the upper half of the pay scale.
“Texas’ conservative fiscal principles continue to be a national example for stimulating job growth at all wage levels and creating opportunity for families,” Gov. Rick Perry said. “Employers know Texas gives them the best chance at success because our limited government approach leaves more money in their pockets, allowing them to risk their capital, create jobs and see a return on their investment.”
According to the report, the two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of the net new jobs in Texas. The state also experienced growth in middle income wage jobs over the time period, whereas the rest of the nation saw negative or zero growth.
“Job growth trends in Texas break with the national pattern,” the report said. “Texas has succeeded in producing broad-based job growth in the context of job and wage polarization nationally.”
The most recent jobs data from the Texas Workforce Commission show Texas added 37,600 jobs in February with 5.7 percent unemployment, a full point below the national rate. Over the last 10 years, Texas has added nearly one third of the net new jobs created in the U.S.