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Unemployment Update: Houston Jobless Rate at 8.2 Percent

The unemployment numbers are now in for May 2011, with Texas Workforce Commission data revealing that the Houston metro area has an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. This is slightly higher that the state’s unemployment rate of 8.0 percent, but at least it is far below the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Houston Chronicle reports that the local unemployment rate for May increased slightly from April’s 8 percent rate of unemployment. However, it should be noted that the Texas jobless rates are adjusted for seasonal variations, such as holiday and school schedules. The reported Houston jobless rate is not seasonally adjusted.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken said in the Chronicle that "Texas continues to weather the storm," meaning that the state's private sector is continuing to produce jobs even when national jobless rates are increasing. Still, it wouldn't hurt for local residents to become familiar with their rights during the unemployment application process, especially if the Houston jobless rate continues to increase.

If an employee has been laid off, wrongfully discharged, or forced to leave employment for a compelling reason, then he or she most likely qualifies to receive unemployment compensation benefits in Texas. Remember, former employees are only eligible to receive benefits from the state's unemployment compensation fund if they were put out of work through no fault of their own.

Jobless Texans can read up on their rights through the Texas Workforce Commission's website and also learn about the state's specific guidelines and qualifications for receiving Unemployment Insurance through the agency.

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