The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s March unemployment rate slipped only slightly from February’s 4.3 percent to 4.2 percent, despite the fact that the state’s average rose from 4.1 percent to 4.3 percent. Considering the much hyped possibility of a national recession, this relative stability is a good sign for the area’s economy. The countrywide unemployment rate rose from 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent.
Statewide 13,500 nonagricultural jobs in Dallas were added, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Over the last 12 months, employers added 213,700 positions. This means that Texas had an annual job growth rate of 2.1 percent.
Tom Pauken, the Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, says that “Texas economy continues to show significant underlying strength with gains of nearly 40,000 jobs during the last three months.” He went on to say that “unemployment rates remain near record lows, and our annual job growth rate remains as strong 2.1 percent, well above the U.S. job growth rate of 0.4 percent.”
TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton says that the continual Dallas job gains and those elsewhere in the state are providing great opportunities for area workers. He finished by saying that “Job seekers are in tremendous demands as employers try to fill open positions during this period of such low unemployment.”
Western Union Co. will soon be freeing up workers to meet the employer’s demands. The company recently announced that it would be cutting 114 Dallas jobs when it closes its facility in the area. These layoffs will begin sometime between June 9th and June 23rd and hope to finish in August for union employees and September for nonunion employees.
The closing of their Dallas facility is part of the company’s closing of some of its business in Missouri and Texas. Over all, 650 jobs are expected to be done away with as Western Union closes several call centers along with some of the settlement and operational accounting ventures. A spokesperson for the company said that these parts of business will either be moved to other locations or handled by a third -party.
Closing these operations is expected to cost the company $60 million, $20 million of which will go towards those losing their jobs in Dallas and elsewhere as part of severance packages and other employee-related benefits. Despite these expenses, the company says that the cost of shutting down these offices will be made up for in savings within two years.