The Gainesville Economic Development Corporation reports that two strong economic indicators demonstrate a positive economic climate for Gainesville and Cooke County.

For the current fiscal year 2010-2011, local sales tax for Gainesville is up 31 percent through the month of June 2011. The City of Gainesville’s fiscal year is from October 1 through September 30 each year.

“I was very pleasantly surprised by the large increase of 35 percent for the month of June,” said Kent Sharp, Executive Director for the GEDC. The June number represents the percentage increase of June 2011 compared to June 2010 in local sales tax.

“The reason this number is significant is because many cities use sales tax to fund both operations as well as reduce ad valorem tax for local citizens. In our case, Cooke County collects a sales tax as well for property tax reduction, so they are benefiting from the strong sales tax numbers in Gainesville,” he continued.

Another leading economic indicator is the unemployment rate, or the percentage of the civilian workforce currently without a job. Recent unemployment numbers released for Cooke County’s unemployment rate for the month of April 2011 surprised the GEDC as well. April’s unemployment rate for Cooke County was down significantly to 5.6 percent from 6.1 percent in March and 6.4 percent in January.

“I know we have been working diligently with local industries and our industrial partners to create and retain higher quality jobs, but the unemployment number dropping this much since January is a real testament to the strength of our local economy,” Sharp said. “An important component of the unemployment rate is the measure of the amount of people in the local civilian workforce. For Cooke County, that number increased by 270 individuals from 20,271 in January to 20, 541 in April.”

Compared to Cooke County’s 5.6 percent April number, Denton County unemployment stood at 7.0 percent and Grayson County was 8.0 percent in April.

“I expect both unemployment rates and sales tax numbers to stay strong for Cooke County as both the private sector and some public sector employers, such as the Texas Youth Commission, continue to add jobs over the next several months in Gainesville and Cooke County,” Sharp said.

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