Posted by Ellen Krafve - email
The labor department reports employers nationally slashed 524 thousand jobs in December alone. That brings the job loss tally for all of 2008 to 2.6 million. The unemployment rate shot to 7.2 percent last month, which is the highest since 1993.
We wanted to compare the local unemployment rate to the national numbers. Now, our local numbers for December will not be released until later this month, but based on the November numbers, the Texas Workforce Commission says the unemployment rate here in East Texas is lower than the national rate.
"Our local unemployment rate is at 5.3% but still we've had substantial layoffs," said Stephen Lynch with the East Texas Workforce Commission. "At this point I don't how far they will increase but I do expect when the new numbers come out, for December, they will be higher."