Record breaking low unemployment rates in Grayson, Fannin, Cooke counties

Published: May. 22, 2019 at 5:41 PM CDT
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Texoma counties are seeing some of the lowest unemployment rates in decades.

We're told growth in Texoma has led to a booming economy. Workforce Solutions Texoma says April unemployment numbers for Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties are record breaking.

Unemployment in Grayson county is 2.5 percent. In Fannin and Cooke counties, it's just 2.3 percent.

"In my 40 years I've never seen numbers that low."

Workforce Solutions Texoma executive director Janie Bates says four percent is considered great.

The numbers in April of last year were just above three percent.

"The main factor is our robust economy. With a good economy, with industries expanding, you see now hiring and help wanted signs," Bates said.

Bates said the addition of Finisar brought nearly 400 jobs, and other big employers, like Texoma Medical Center and Tyson foods have expanded.

"They move here because the cost of living, the good schools, it's a good safe place to raise family, more amenities, and our industries are paying well."

So well, that now local businesses are struggling to hire new people…

"It's a challenge for retail and healthcare when its that low. There's a lot of competition."

One way Bates says they're tackling that is the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Grayson College, which helps local high school kids get college credit with the hope they'll take that knowledge and go to work for local manufacturers.

"We're gonna grow on own there aren't enough workers out there, so if we can train our own kids to have great jobs, maybe they'll wanna stay here," Bates said.

The program has already seen success in it's three years..

"There is more interest. Some high schools have a selection process and that's kinda exciting to see," said Anna Hicks, the tech dual credit director.

In comparison, rates in Bryan county are around 3 percent and Carter county is 3.3 percent.

Overall, Oklahoma is at 3.3 percent and Texas is seeing 3.7 percent.

The national unemployment rate is around 3.6 percent.