AUSTIN — The Texas Workforce Commission on June 21 announced the state economy saw additional positive employment growth in the month of May.
Some 19,600 seasonally adjusted non-farm positions were added in May and the Texas economy’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached a record low of 3.5 percent. The previous low rate of 3.7 percent was recorded for the month of April. May’s record low unemployment rate is the lowest since tracking began in 1976, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs said, “Our economy is thriving across multiple industries, attracting new companies every day, showing that Texas is the best state in the nation to do business.”
The Professional and Business Services category led all major industries over the month, adding 8,100 jobs. Education and Health Services added 4,500 over the month while Construction added 3,300 jobs.
Anthrax advisory is posted
Eighteen recent animal deaths in Uvalde County, including two confirmed anthrax cases, prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to post a health advisory on June 27.
In its advisory, the DSHS recommended steps for Texans to protect themselves against naturally occurring anthrax, a disease caused by spore-forming bacteria commonly found in the soil in southern and southwestern Texas.
Deer, sheep, goats, cattle, horses and other animals can contract the disease when they swallow or inhale anthrax spores while grazing. Animals usually die within two days of showing signs of infection.
Anthrax in humans is rare, though people can contract it through handling a dead or sick animal infected with anthrax, according to the DSHS.
The agency advises Texans to:
—Avoid direct contact with dead animals, including bones, horns or antlers;
— Keep pets and children away from dead animals;
—Do not harvest animals that appear ill or are acting abnormally;
—Wear long-sleeved garments and gloves when handling, dressing and processing game;
—Wash hands with soap and water and launder clothes immediately after animal exposure;
—Minimize contact with animal fluids, brain and spinal tissues;
—Cook all meat until well done before consuming; and
—Contact a doctor if an unusual-looking sore develops on hands, arms or other exposed skin. Although it is very rare to contract skin anthrax, this infection requires treatment with antibiotics prescribed by a physician, the DSHS said.
Abbott declares disaster
Gov. Greg Abbott on June 27 declared a state of disaster in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy Counties following severe flooding that caused widespread property damage to the Rio Grande Valley area.
The state of Texas, Abbott said, is currently working with local officials to ensure all resources necessary are being provided to those counties.
“By working closely with local officials, we will put the communities of the Rio Grande Valley on a path to recovery,” Abbott said.