Members of the board of directors of the Brownwood Economic Development were told in May that the local economy may be witnessing a turnaround. When board members arrive for their June meeting on Tuesday, BEDC Executive Director James Campbell will have additional statistical evidence to support his conclusion.
Municipal sales tax receipts have rebounded strongly, the Texas Comptroller’s Office reported last week, after a series of months when checks have been either down or flat compared to the same periods in 2008. At $440,431, Brownwood’s June check from the state, which generally reflects April sales, was up by almost 9 percent.
Employment data for May will probably not yet be available when the BEDC board meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the April numbers — which become available after the board met last month — were also substantially improved. The BEDC meeting will be held in the second floor conference room of the Harvey House, 600 E. Depot.
The unemployment rate for Brown County in April was 6.0 percent, the same percentage that is was in January. However, 561 more county residents were employed in April compared to January, and the labor force has risen by almost 600 people, as well.
Employment data received by the BEDC shows that 19,107 people were in the labor force compared to 18,522 in January; and 17,970 were employed in April, compared to 17,409 in January. The number of people seeking work in April was down by more than 200 from March, falling from 1,357 to 1,137.
The 6.0 percent jobless rate in April was below both the average unemployment rate for Texas — 6.4 percent — and the nation — 8.6 percent.
All of the counties surrounding Brown County showed April jobless rate below the national average, and only one was not below the state average.
April unemployment rates for area counties were 6.2 percent in Coleman County, 4.9 percent in Comanche County, 4.9 percent in Callahan County, 6.4 percent in Eastland County, 7.4 percent in McCulloch County, 4.9 percent in Mills County, and 5.2 percent in San Saba.
The BEDC’s agenda shows that in addition to consideration of the monthly check list, budgetary control report and project status report, the board will hear a presentation by Ranger College President Dr. Bill Campion. An executive session is also planned, with any action to be taken in open meeting afterward.