Job growth keeps up in Texas as the unemployment rate declines for a third straight month to 5.1 percent for May, the Texas Workforce Commission announced Friday.
The latest seasonally adjusted jobless rate compares to 5.2 percent unemployment in April, according to commission figures. A total of 383,100 jobs were added in the past 12 months, making it the largest over-the-year job increase in Texas in nearly 17 years.
The Texas unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in March, after holding steady in January and February at 5.7 percent. Nationwide, the jobless rate was unchanged in May at 6.3 percent, the Labor Department reported earlier.
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area had the lowest May unemployment rate in the state at 2.6 percent. The Odessa MSA had the second lowest at 3.2 percent and the Amarillo MSA was third at 3.6 percent.
Gov. Rick Perry welcomed the state's May economic figures, touting Texas as the top spot nationwide for job seekers.
"By virtually every measure, the Texas job creation machine is firing on all cylinders...Texas continues to be the epicenter of job creation in America and today's numbers are further proof that if you want a job, or your company needs employees, Texas is the best place in America to find both," Perry said.
The annual growth rate climbed to 3.4 percent in May, the state's highest since November 2012, the commission reported.
Employers from all 11 major industries in Texas expanded their payrolls in May. Education and health services expanded the most, adding 12,400 jobs. Mining and logging posted the highest annual growth rate among the major industries at 7.4 percent, the commission said.
"It is good news for job seekers when Texas industries grow across the board," said Commissioner Ronny Congleton.
Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities expanded by 11,800 jobs over the month, for a total of 86,300 jobs added in the last year, the commission reported.
"We continue to work with our workforce and education partners to ensure that Texas workers have the in-demand skills required to bolster this impressive job creation,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar.