By BRAD KELLAR
The local unemployment rate fell sharply during September, the second straight dip in the jobless numbers.
More than 280 jobs were added across Hunt County between August and September and more people were employed in the county last month than during any other September in local history.
On the other hand, the decline in unemployment was due in part to a continued shrinking of the labor force, and the county’s rate remains among the highest in the region, according to a report issued Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
The unemployment rate for September in Hunt County fell to 7.6 percent, down from 8.4 percent in August and 9.2 percent in July and the 8.7 percent rate in September 2011.
Thee rate was the lowest recorded locally since February/March, when the rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest unemployment rate seen in Hunt County so far this year.
A total of 38,184 people were reported to have been employed last month, an increase of 282 positions from August and 844 jobs during the past 12 months.
There were 3,132 people listed as unemployed in Hunt County last month, a decrease of 352 people from July, and 413 fewer than in September one year ago.
The county’s civilian labor force was listed at 41,316 people in September, a decrease of 70 people from August, but 431 more than in September 2011.
Hunt County is listed by the TWC as part of the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division, which also includes Dallas, Collin, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Kaufman County posted the division’s highest September unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent.
Delta County tied with Hunt County last month, with 7.6 percent unemployment. Dallas County recorded 6.7 percent unemployment and Ellis County was reported to have 6.2 percent unemployment during September.
Collin and Rockwall counties tied with 5.7 percent unemployment last month. Denton County recorded the division’s lowest unemployment during September, at 5.6 percent.
Among other nearby counties, Fannin County posted an 8.1 percent unemployment rate during September, Hopkins County 5.8 percent, Lamar County 8.5 percent, Rains County 7.2 percent and Van Zandt County posted a 6.1 percent unemployment rate last month.