Texas unemployment rate drops to 4.6 percent

The increase of over 40,000 jobs in June led to the second straight month Texas’ unemployment rate has dropped, according to a press release from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, which was a decrease of 0.2 percent from May.

Texas’ annual employment growth outperformed the previous two years with 319,300 jobs added over the year, bringing the state’s annual growth rate up by 0.4 percentage points to 2.7 percent, according to the TWC.

Over 13,100 Education and Health Services were added, which resulted in the largest private-industry gain over the month. Manufacturing experienced its largest over-the-year employment gain since July 2012 with 4,600 jobs added in June, and Mining and Logging employment expanded by 4,400 jobs, according to the TWC.

“Private-sector employment remained strong with Texas employers adding 283,800 jobs over the year and 34,100 jobs added in June,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth Hughs. “TWC is committed to developing innovative workforce programs that keep our businesses competitive and our growing talent pipeline a priority.”

The Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), along with Amarillo, recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate in June. Almost 2 million people are employed in the Austin area, with the unemployment rate resting at 3.4 percent.

According to ycharts.com, Hays County’s unemployment rate was 3.60 percent in June, which was a rise from 3.20 in April and May.

The College Station-Bryan MSA registered a rate of 3.8 percent for June, according to the release.

“All Goods Producing industries showed positive employment growth in Texas, including Manufacturing, which expanded by 4,600 jobs in June,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “The Texas labor force has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing.”

While the state has an overall unemployment rate slightly above the national average of 4.5 percent, Texas remains in the top half of the best states to find a job in the nation, according to a wallethub.com study.

The study, which compared all 50 states across 24 indicators of job-market strength, opportunity and economic vitality, ranked Texas 11th.

One aspect that led to the ranking was a high monthly average starting salary in the state. According to 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics information, the median hourly wage in Texas was roughly $17. Texas was also ranked 10th in median annual income and 23rd in unemployment rate.

However, Texas ranked 13th in industry variety and 25th in job opportunities.

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