By BRAD KELLAR
Hunt County started 2013 with a spike in unemployment, losing more than 300 jobs in January.
The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that local jobless figures rose significantly in the weeks following the holidays. But the report also revealed more people were employed in Hunt County at the start of the year than during any other January this century and that January’s unemployment rate was also the lowest seen for the month in five years.
Hunt County reported a January unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, compared to 6.1 percent in December, but lower than the 8 percent reported in January 2012. The rate was the lowest seen for January since 2008, when local unemployment was reported at 5.1 percent. The record January unemployment rate was set in 2011, at 8.8 percent.
There were 2,787 people listed as unemployed in Hunt County in January, an increase of 328 people since December, but 377 fewer than in January 2012.
There were 37,530 people listed as employed locally during January, 307 fewer than during December, but still the highest number of people at work during January in Hunt County since January 2000. The county has added 1,135 jobs since in the past 12 months.
Hunt County is listed by the Texas Workforce Commission as part of the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division, which also includes Dallas, Collin, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Delta County reported the division’s highest unemployment rate during January, at 8.3 percent, Dallas County reported 7.2 percent unemployment, Kaufman County recorded 7.1 percent unemployment and Ellis County registered a 7 percent unemployment rate during January.
Denton County recorded the division’s lowest unemployment rate in January, at 5.9 percent, Collin County recorded 6 percent unemployment while Rockwall County reported 6.3 percent unemployment in January.
Among other nearby counties, Fannin County posted a 9.9 percent unemployment rate during January, Hopkins County 6 percent, Lamar County 9.2 percent, Rains County 7.4 percent and Van Zandt County posted a 6.6 percent January unemployment rate.