CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The Economic Development Council reported to Corpus Christi's City Council Wednesday that unemployment is up. However, there are some promising projects ahead.
The Coastal Bend's unemployment rate for March is 6.9-percent. Corpus Christi's is 6.6-percent, both higher than the state and nation. Texas' rate stands at five-percent and the national rate is 4.5-percent.
Iain Vasey, President of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, believes there are several factors for this including the closing of Sherwin Alumina and Gulf Marine Fabricators.
"A number of folks moved into the market, especially when they got laid off from the Eagle Ford oil area and the oil fields and they moved here to look for work," Vasey said.
That unemployment rate increase was close to a full percentage point over last year, but Vasey said those who are working on current projects will have other jobs in the near future.
As Exxon ramps up in their construction projects like Cheniere, and the Harbor Bridge will be nearing completion of their construction, so those folks who are working on Cheniere will be able to transition over to the Exxon project," Vasey said.
Texas Workforce Solutions said some 2,600 new jobs have been created in the past year and the new unemployment rate is actually encouraging.
"We dropped .3-tenths of a percent from February, and so that always gives us hope as to what may happen in April, and those numbers will be released next week," said Monika De La Garza of Workforce Solutions.
De La Garza said there are four industries now desperately looking for skilled workers -- business, healthcare, professional skills, and trades and public service.
Dr. Mike Sandroussi, President of the Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend, said the high school students he meets are not aware of some of the jobs they can be trained for in this area.
"The most in-demand jobs, anything from welding, sheet metal, arc welding to instrumentation, fitter, instrumentation tech, mobile crane operations, rigging," Sandroussi said. "There's all kinds of work out there."
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