Texoma economic report reveals positive outlook for region

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- This quarter's economic dashboard gives two thumbs up for the region's labor force and unemployment rate.

"There's fewer people unemployed than there were when the labor market, or labor force, was smaller. What that means is not only are we creating enough jobs for the people who are here, we're creating enough jobs for the people who came into the labor force as well," Bob Rhoden with Workforce Solutions Texoma said.

Texoma lost nearly 460 jobs when TrailBlazer in Denison closed in November.

Rhoden says some of those jobs were regained through existing employers and other positions came from new businesses looking for that skill set.

"We're also seeing a couple of new companies that are coming into the area, specifically because they're looking for people who have Medicare claims experience and those people have it," Rhoden said.

The dashboard also shows that although sales tax revenue is down from last quarter, it's at its highest annual level since 2006, reaching almost $43.7 million in 2012.

"With the economy a couple years ago, things weren't looking that good, but what you've seen is just a nice progression over the years for Texoma," Texoma Council of Governments Executive Director Susan Thomas said.

Thomas says another sign of improvement is that fewer people are subscribing for food stamps.

"If we have fewer people enrolling for that program, that's a good thing, so you get a thumbs up on that," Thomas said.

The number of Texomans applying for welfare benefits remains steady.

Rhoden says these statistics demonstrate a positive economic outlook for the region.

"Like the nation and like the state of Texas, we're seeing some recoveries," Rhoden said.

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