The Texas jobless rate is holding steady at 6.9 percent, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.
Texas Workforce Commission numbers released Friday showed the state adding 12,500 nonfarm jobs in May. That's slightly down from April but enough to keep the Texas unemployment rate below 7 percent for consecutive months for the first time since spring 2009.
The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.
"The Texas economy expanded in May, as the private sector gained 15,300 positions. Over the past year, private sector employment in Texas has shown an encouraging 3.3 percent annual growth rate," said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. "It is a positive sign that a number of Texas industries added jobs in May, led by Professional and Business Services with an increase of 8,500 jobs."
Agency figures show that while five of the 11 major industries in Texas lost jobs in May, strong gains in the sectors of leisure and hospitality and professional services kept the unemployment rate from slipping.
"A variety of industries are growing in Texas, including Construction, which added 2,400 jobs in May," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "TWC is committed to connecting job seekers to the opportunities available in Texas' labor market."
Jobs in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities also posted positive gains as the industry grew by 3,500 jobs in May, and has added jobs in nine of the past 12 months. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities has seen an increase of 50,000 jobs over the last year for an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent.
"It is good to see Texas' private employers continuing to add to their payrolls," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Tom Pauken. "Texas' economy continues to stand out, as our unemployment rate remains below the national unemployment rate for the 65th consecutive month."
Jobs have been added to the Texas economy for 22 consecutive months. Since last year, Texas employers have added 237,100 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.
“While economic recovery in other states is struggling, Texas’ rebounding economy continues to show strong signs of improvement,” said Talmadge Heflin, director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “It is no coincidence that Texas, bolstered by conservative public policies, continues to lead the nation in job creation, adding a total of 237,100 net new jobs over the past 12 months.”
“Compared to this time last year, there are 103,000 fewer Texas unemployed, even though our state has 182,000 more people in the civilian labor force,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation President Brooke Rollins. “This lends further proof to the power of the Texas Model: one of low taxes and spending, low and predictable regulations, and a sound civil justice system.
Midland's unemployment rate of 3.8 percent remains the lowest in the state. The highest is in the McAllen area, where the jobless rate now stands at 10.8 percent.