The June seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, unchanged from May, its lowest point since the current series began in 1976.

The unemployment rate is down from 4.9 percent a year ago. Seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment in Texas grew by 8,300 jobs in June. Texas employers now have added 213,500 jobs over the past 12 months for an annual growth rate of 2.1 percent.

MISD demographer, Bob Templeton, told the Bond Steering Committee recently that Ellis County had a 3.8 percent unemployment rate based on first quarter numbers. He said Dallas has a 4.1 percent unemployment rate and Forth Worth a 4.2 percent rate.

“Employment in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has seen very strong growth,” said Templeton. “We saw very high numbers in March and there are now over 11,038,600 job holders in Texas.”

State officials echoed Templeton’s data.

“This remarkably low unemployment rate reflects the strength of the Texas economy,” said Texas Workforce Commission chairman Diane Rath. “Workers have abundant opportunities as Texas employers continue to expand.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Amarillo MSA was second at 3.7 percent, followed by the Austin-Round Rock and Odessa MSAs, both at 3.8 percent.

Employment in the area of leisure and hospitality led the gains this month with an increase of 3,800 jobs for a total of 37,100 since June 2006, a 3.9 percent annual growth rate. Construction continued to surge forward with 3,400 jobs added in June, for a total of 20,900 jobs over the year, an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent.

“As I travel across the state, employer confidence is high,” said TWC commissioner representing employers Ron Lehman. “We have recorded job growth in 10 of 11 industry sectors over the past year, with only information showing a slight decline of less than 1 percent.”

Financial activities gained 1,100 jobs in June, contributing to an annual job growth of 10,900. Mining continues to maintain the highest annual job growth rate at 9.2 percent, adding 600 jobs during the month.

“With job growth comes opportunities for Texas workers to expand skills sets and advance their careers,” said TWC commissioner representing labor Ronny Congleton. “This opens up positions for entry-level workers, creating a larger, stronger Texas workforce.”

It is not known how the recent purchase of Chaparral Steel by Gerdau Ameristeel might affect the local job market. Chaparral Steel had its corporate offices in Midlothian and area concerns center around Gerdau moving offices, sales and support services at the massive steel mill south of town to other locations.

Chaparral Steel is Midlothian’s largest employer with over 1,000 jobs.