Workforce Officials Optimistic Despite Unemployment Increase

By Elise Preston

AMARILLO--- The city experienced a slight increase in the unemployment rate between the months of May and June.

In June, 6% of Amarillo residents were without jobs.  That is a small hike from May, when 5.4% of residents were unemployed. Workforce Commission officials tell NewsChannel 10, the hike was anticipated.  A bulk of the increase is blamed on seasonal jobs and not the economy.

"I see bright things down the road.  They aren't going to happen tomorrow or next year, but we are obviously headed in the right direction as far as our labor force." Said Trent Morris.

Currently, Amarillo has the second lowest unemployment rate in Texas.  Morris says more major companies are moving to the area, bringing more jobs with them.  Just a few blocks from his office, Volunteers who work with day laborers have a different take. They tell NewsChannel 10, more and more people are gathering each morning for day labor.

"I just keep seeing new faces. They are coming from everywhere.  There is a problem somewhere. They think Amarillo is a fix, but its not"

In the same time period, Texas had a slight decrease in the number of people out of work.  The state's unemployment rate went from 8.3% to 8.2%.