New Unemployment Numbers Show Bleak Picture for Jobseekers

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

Thousands of West Texans are joining the unemployment line as the Permian Basin suffers the shockwaves of a stumbling economy.

New numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission paint a bleak picture as the number of pink slips handed out just keeps getting higher.

Willie Taylor from the Texas Workforce Commission says he is very surprised with these numbers.

Unemployment rates are up in every single county in the Permian Basin and the surrounding area.

Midland and Ector Counties  both saw their rates jump by about 1% and Howard County jumped by 1.5%.

Dawson and Reeves Counties have some of highest rates in West Texas where more than 5% of people there are jobless.

Perhaps the most startling aspect of all of this is just how quickly these job cuts are happening.

Nearly 2,500 West Texans joined the unemployment line in just one month between December 2008 and January 2009.

But there is a silver lining of course.

When we average all of these counties together, the Permian Basin is sitting just under five percent unemployment which is still below the State and National average and still among the lowest in the state.