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Texas Unemployment Up Slightly in February

Texas added 80,600 new jobs in February, but the state's unemployment rate still increased slightly to 6.8 percent.

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Despite the addition of 80,600 jobs, the Texas unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.4 percent in February, up one-tenth of a percent since January.

Even with the increase, the state’s unemployment rate is better than this time last year, when it was at 7.1 percent, and it continues to be well below the national unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. Since February 2012, Texas has added 347,200 private and 359,800 non-agriculture jobs. Of the non-agriculture jobs, 3.5 percent are considered part of the government sector.

All 11 major industries tracked by the Texas Workforce Commission saw a slight uptick in total positions from January to February.

“With businesses expanding in 11 major industries over the year, including a 4.3 percent annual growth rate in the goods producing industries, TWC stands ready to help Texans take advantage of these opportunities,” Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said in a news release.

The construction sector saw the largest growth last month, picking up 15,700 jobs, a 2.6 percent increase from January. The second-largest growth was in the professional and business services sector, with an increase of 25,400 jobs, a 1.8 percent increase. 

The addition of more than 347,000 private sector jobs is a 3.9 percent increase.

“As these businesses continue to grow their investments, I am committed to ensuring that our state can continue to meet their workforce needs,” TWC Commissioner Hope Andrade said in a press release.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area, which represents the city of Midland and surrounding area, continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, dropping 0.2 percentage points from January to February, to 3.2 percent. The Odessa Metropolitan Statistical Area has the second-lowest rate, at 3.8 percent, a 0.3 percentage point drop from January.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area continues has the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 11 percent. Behind that is the Brownsville-Harlingen area, with an unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in February.

Although the Beaumont-Port Arthur area still has the third-highest unemployment rate in Texas, at 9.9 percent, it saw a full 1 percentage point drop in unemployment from February to January.

Texas Labor Force Job Totals (Seasonally Adjusted)
 Jan. 2013Feb. 2013Feb. 2012
Mining and Logging 278,500 281,500 261,800
Construction 601,700 617,400 574,100
Manufacturing 864,500 867,000 856,500
Trade, Transportation, Utilities 2,216,800 2,220,400 2,154,600
Information 198,400 198,500 196,500
Financial Activities 664,900 665,000 652,800
Professional and Business Services 1,422,900 1,448,300 1,382,300
Education and Health Services 1,489,800 1,490,700 1,446,200
Leisure and Hospitality 1,121,900 1,130,700 1,065,100
Other Services 389,200 393,000 375,400
Government 1,789,900 1,806,600 1,794,000

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