by Texas Workforce Commission
Special to Hays Free Press
Texas’ unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in December, down from 6.2 percent in November and from 7.4 percent a year ago. This marked the fourth straight month that the unemployment rate in Texas has declined. Texas employers added 4,100 total nonfarm jobs in December for a total of 260,800 jobs added over the year. In December 2012, Texas employers reported 10,904,000 total nonfarm jobs.
“In December, we saw annual growth in 10 major industries, for an overall annual growth of 2.5 percent in Texas,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “With those positive strides and 11,800 private sector jobs added in the past month, 2012 was a strong year for Texas and my hope is that the Texas economy will build on that success in 2013.”
Six out of 11 major industries in Texas added jobs in December, led by 13,300 jobs added in Professional and Business Services – the largest over-the-month expansion for this industry since January 2012.
“I’m glad to see the unemployment rate has dropped by more than a full point over the course of the year,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “Positive economic growth is good news for the workers of Texas, and TWC is committed to helping those still looking to get back to work.”
Manufacturing added 3,000 jobs between November and December, while another goods-producing industry, mining and logging, expanded by 1,600 jobs during this time. Service-providing industries that also showed positive growth over the month included education and health services, other services, and trade, transportation and utilities.
“Private sector employers in Texas added 257,400 jobs since December 2011 for an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Tom Pauken. “Texas is leading the way in helping to make the United States energy independent. Our robust energy sector not only is creating good paying jobs for many Texans in that industry but also is spurring job growth in many other industries.”
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest December unemployment rate in the state at 3.1 percent. The Odessa MSA came in second at 3.7 percent, and the Amarillo MSA third at 4.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted).