The Texas unemployment rate dropped slightly this month, from 8.5 percent to 8.4 percent, according to statistics released today by the Texas Workforce Commission. Texas’ unemployment rate remains lower than the national unemployment rate, which fell from 9.1 percent to 9 percent in October.
Despite the improvement, the Texas economy is doing worse than it was this time last year, and as the national economy has improved, the Texas economy has lagged. In October 2010, when the national unemployment rate was at 9.7 percent, in Texas it was at 8.2 percent.
There were some marked improvements this October, though. Texas job creation surpassed growth in the workforce, and from September to October, the unemployment rate dropped in all the metropolitan regions except Tyler.
“Private employers continue to invest their capital in the growing Texas workforce,” said Tom Pauken, chairman of the workforce commission, in a press release. “The private sector has added an impressive 286,200 jobs since October 2010, for a growth rate of 3.4 percent.”
The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes many low-paying jobs, gained the most jobs in October: 14,900. Education and health services added more than 6,000 jobs for the third consecutive month.
The mining sector, which includes jobs like oil and natural gas excavation, also continued to grow, adding 4,500 jobs. But other production industries in Texas, such as construction and manufacturing, declined by 12,800 and 1,000 jobs, respectively.
Texas also lost government jobs — again. Since August, Texas government at the federal, state and local levels has shed a total of 31,500 jobs. That includes an additional 11,000 government jobs lost in October.