• Special to the Daily Leader
Unemployment in Texas County inched upward in February, the most recent data available, according to figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and passed along by Betty Mosburg, executive director of Panhandle Regional Economic Development Coalition Inc..
“However, while most everyone is spouting doom and gloom that the rate increased, let us note that in comparison with the rest of the state, the Panhandle is in the basement — the bargain basement – and that’s a good thing,” said Mosburg.
Texas County ranked 70 out of the state’s 77 counties, with a jobless rate of 3.7 percent, compared to Hughes County, which endured the highest unemployment rate with 11.6 percent of the workforce out of a job. The jobless number in Texas County has increased just more than
1 percent since February last year: February 2008, 2.5 percent; December 2008, 3.2 percent; January 2009, 3.3 percent.
Cimarron County ranked 68 on the list, also with a 3.7 percent. The ranking relies on alphabetical order when the numbers are the same.
The number of eligible unemployed workers there rose from 3.1 percent in February 2008. They were at 3.7 percent in December 2009, jumped to 4.1 percent in January 2009, so they have actually experienced a decrease in unemployment.
Beaver County got all the good press in this announcement because they are truly in the cellar with Harper County, 76 and 77, respectively, as both reported 3.0 percent of the workforce to be without jobs.
Beaver County’s numbers for the past year do indicate a slight increase in those out of work: February 2008, 2.1 percent, December 2008, 2.5 percent; January 2009, 2.6 percent.