Texas' unemployment rate rises

AUSTIN (AP) - Texas' unemployment rate increased to 5.6 percent in October, up half a percentage point from the previous month in part because of Hurricane Ike and national economic trends, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday.

Texas still has nearly a one percent lower unemployment rate than the rate of the nation. But workforce commission chairman Tom Pauken says he expects unemployment rates in Texas to continue to track the national trend upward in the months ahead.

The state had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.1 percent in September and 4.3 percent in October 2007.

Nearly half of the increase in the number of unemployed reported statewide for October came in the Houston and Beaumont metropolitan
areas, regions hit hard by Hurricane Ike.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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