Texas Unemployment Rate Remains Well Below National Rate

The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.0 percent in August, up from 7.9 percent a month ago, and continued to trend well below the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August at 9.7 percent. The Texas Civilian Labor Force continued to increase in August remaining above the mark of 12 million workers. Total nonagricultural employment in Texas fell by 62,200 positions in August.

“Despite our strong Texas economic foundation, the national recession is having an adverse impact on our state,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “Nonetheless, the unemployment rate in Texas remained well below the 9.7 percent national rate.”

Education and Health Services employment grew by 5,200 jobs in August, following a revised gain of 8,600 jobs in July. This was the 11th consecutive monthly gain in this industry. Since August 2008, employment in Education and Health Services increased by 58,600 jobs, a 4.5 percent gain.

“The Texas labor force continued to grow in August, remaining above 12 million workers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “To help connect workers with available jobs, staff at more than 240 workforce centers across the state is available to provide job-search assistance and other services.”

Financial Activities employment increased by 600 jobs in August. This was the fifth monthly gain since January, and the eighth monthly job increase in the last 12 months. Since January, this industry added 3,100 jobs. The hardest hit industries in August were Leisure and Hospitality recording a month-over-month drop of 12,900 positions. Construction was down 11,700 jobs, and Manufacturing industry employment fell by 10,900 jobs.

“Aside from job gains in Financial Activities and Education and Health Services, the employment situation in most industries was tough in August,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. “TWC and our workforce boards located around the state remain committed to helping out-of-work Texans acquire skills and find jobs.”

The Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), followed by the Lubbock MSA with 5.7 percent, and the Midland and Abilene MSAs with 6.1 percent.

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