The U.S. unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6 percent in September and 8.3 percent here in Texas. While nearly 160,000 government jobs were lost, more focus turns to the private sector for job creation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports government employment numbers continue to decrease fast due to the release of teachers at the start of the school year and temporary Census workers.
With hiring by businesses slowing, there is more pressure on the private sector, even in Central Texas.
Waco Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Strategic Development says, "The private sector is where the dynamism in the economy is, the innovation," says Scott Connell. "They have the ability to grow faster than anything in the public sector. So, they're the area we really want to focus on in terms of moving us out of this recession."
The economy may be more reliant on the private sector, but businesses are reluctant to hire right now because of the uncertainty of the economy.
A local home appliance store, Tri-Supply, has more than 200 employees. They are opening another branch in Temple, but they still aren't hiring. Manager, John Shibley, says, "Sales have not dropped, I don't think as much as they have nation wide, in our industry, but the figures aren't there to justify putting another man on the payroll at this time. That may not happen maybe until next Spring."
Private hiring has grown, but not quick enough to make up for growing unemployment. The new numbers are the last before November elections, and candidates say job creation is the main priority.