AUSTIN — The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in August, down from last month’s 4.4 percent and down significantly from 4.9 percent a year ago.
Seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment in Texas grew by 10,400 jobs, remaining strong, despite the U.S. economy’s loss of 4,000 jobs this month. Texas employers have added 229,000 jobs in the past year.
“Our strong Texas economy continues to surpass national trends, with employers adding jobs statewide again this month,” said Texas Workforce Commission chairman Diane Rath. “At 4.2 percent, the Texas unemployment rate continues to hover at 30-year record lows and remains well below the national unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.”
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Amarillo and Odessa MSAs tied for second at 3.3 percent.
The service-providing sector showed the largest gains. Professional and business services showed gains of 5,500 jobs, after a banner July, when the industry added 7,300 positions. This industry now stands at a 5.1 percent annual growth rate, bringing 62,100 jobs to the Texas economy during the past 12 months. Government jobs also contributed to the state’s economic health, adding 6,800 positions in August.
“Employers are adding jobs in a wide variety of industries and I’m particularly encouraged by the strong showing in the service-providing sector,” said TWC commissioner representing employers Ron Lehman. “Texas’ annual job growth rate now stands at 2.3 percent, well-above the national rate of 1.2 percent.”
Leisure and hospitality added 3,500 jobs, following an increase of 1,300 jobs in July, representing an annual growth rate now at 4.4 percent. Natural resources and mining increased by 1,600 jobs this month and added 16,500 jobs during the year showing an annual growth rate of 8.8 percent.
Education and health services created another 1,600 jobs this month, adding to July’s tally of 2,800 positions.
“There are 229,000 more jobs in Texas as compared to this time last year,” said TWC commissioner representing labor Ronny Congleton. “Our state offers many opportunities to Texans seeking jobs.”