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      Texas Workforce Commission report shows Amarillo's unemployment rate is lower than state and national average

      The Texas Workforce Commission said the unemployment rate for Amarillo is the same now as it was a year ago.

      According to Trent Morris with the Panhandle Workforce Solutions said Amarillo's unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in October.

      "Those compare to the lowest in the state of 3.1 percent in the Midland, Odessa area of 3.6 percent. Then on a statewide basis the state's about 6 percent unemployment rate," Morris said.

      Amarillo's unemployment rate is almost 3 percent lower than the national rate of 7.3 percent in October.

      Wages are also up 5 percent since last year and 744 more people are working, according to the report by the Texas Workforce Commission.

      "The diversity of our workforce and our industry base is part of the reason. We're sure seeing a lot of activity that's gas and oil related in the area, transportation," Morris said.

      Retail sales are up 12 percent and this includes used car sales. Used car sales are up 55 percent since last year.

      "It has a lot of to do with the way Amarillo and West Texas has not really been hit by the economic change as much as the United States, said Don Jendro, Reagor-Dykes Mitsubishi.

      "One of the biggest reasons is everybody needs a vehicle, even if cars weren't being produced anymore, we'd probably be selling bicycles you know, some body's got to have transportation," Jendro said.