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SA Unemployment Up Slightly

By Bill O'Neil  

A small increase in San Antonio's jobless rate in February--but analysts said the area's overall employment picture remains bright. 

Even with a one-tneth of one-percent increase over January's numbers, Eva Esquivel with Workforce Solutions Alamo said there's a lot to like about the local job market.  

"Where we sit at 5.5% is much lower than what we see in the State and the nation" Esquivel said--pointing to Texas' 5.9% unemployment rate--and the nation's overal 7% jobless number.  

Despite the small local uptick, Esquivel told 550 KTSA News all major sectors added jobs in the local area in February--with nearly 10-thousand new workers added overall. 

"For the first time ever, professional and business services exceeded all industries at this time in job growth--between Janaury and February--they added 2,300 jobs" Esquivel said. 

Meanwhile, experts project a continues steady growth rate for the overall local economy for the remainder of the year. 

"We're not going to blow the doors off... but I'm thinking we're going to see gorwth of 2 1/2 to 3%" said Economist Steve Niven, presenting his outlook to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commece. Niven told 550 KTSA News sectors weakened by the recession--such as construction and manufacturing--look to be rebounding--while toher remain strong.  

"Healthcare--even with all of the changes going on--has been an industry that was even strong through the recession" Niven said, adding the hospitality secotr also looks to be building.   


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