August 2, 2016
Smith County, in Texas,has an unemployment rate of 3.8%, far below the national unemployment rate of 4.9%, and below Texas’ statewide unemployment rate of 4.4%. And a new report, prepared by Tyler Area Economic Development Council’s Victor Valle, shows that close to 42% of individuals working in Smith County live in eight adjacent counties.
TEDC President and CEO Tom Mullins acknowledges that the metrics are surprising, given the struggling petroleum industry. “Here we are, basically in an oil crisis again, like we dealt with in the 1980s,” he said. “But instead of businesses closing and people losing jobs and banks failing, this time we’re not feeling that kind of economic stress. We have low unemployment, we have records being set in home sales and building permits are up.”
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