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Texas Jobless Rate Slips to 6 Percent in December

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    The Texas jobless rate settled at 6 percent in December for the fifth straight month of declines in statewide unemployment, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

    The Texas unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in November. The nationwide jobless rate for December was 6.7 percent.

    Employers added 252,400 jobs for all industries during 2013, the commission said.

    "We continue to see growth across major industries in Texas, with all of them adding jobs over the year," said Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission chairman.

    The Midland area had the lowest statewide jobless rate in December at 2.8 percent, while neighboring Odessa had a 3.4 percent jobless rate. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area recorded the highest jobless rate at 10.4 percent, the only double-digit unemployment area statewide for December.

    Texas added 17,600 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm positions in December, according to the commission.

    Trade, transportation and utilities expanded by 8,100 positions in December, more jobs added than any other major industry in the state. The industry also added more jobs over the last year, 68,200, than any other major industry, and had an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent, commission officials said.

    Other industries that expanded over the month include education and health services, with 4,400 additional jobs in December.