Unemployment Rate Falling

Unemployment Rate Falling

<br>The local economy is showing signs of picking up as the local unemployment rate continues to fall.<br>In Wichita Falls, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9%, down from 7.7% a year ago. Numbers like that have local leaders looking forward to the year ahead.

In Wichita Falls, the economy appears to be on the upswing.

Several new businesses have already opened their doors, and more are on the way.

"It speaks nothing but good for the community and for the work that we do for our economic development," said Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham.

Barham added in addition to new businesses coming to town, recent moves by the City Council to give tax abatements to local manufacturers have also helped turn things around.

In fact, in the last year, the unemployment rate in Wichita Falls fell almost a full percentage point to 6.9%, lower than the State average of 7.2%.

"That indicates, to me anyway, that we're doing things right and getting people back on payrolls," said Barham, "Several industries in town are rehiring and putting people back to work."

With more people going back to work, local retailers are also experiencing a trickle down effect.

"When employment is up, we see more customers coming into our store," said Brent Spray, who, along with his wife, owns Yogurt Journey in Wichita Falls.

With a finance degree from MSU, Spray knows when big business booms, the extra money in people's pockets adds up to a tasty treat for him.

"As long as people are employed and are earning a reasonable income," said Spray, "they have the disposable income to be able to spend on luxury items.

"When they have that," continued Spray, "the whole economy does good. We're able to employ more people, so it all kind of comes back around."

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