The Texas unemployment rate for January rose slightly to 6.3 percent, but remained well below the national rate, according to unemployment figures released Friday.
The Texas Workforce Commission announced the higher jobless rate compares to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 percent in December and 7.2 percent in January 2012. Nationwide unemployment for January was 7.9 percent and slipped to 7.7 percent in February.
Commission officials say Texas employers continued to expand their payrolls in January with the addition of 10,400 nonfarm jobs for a total of 310,900 jobs added in 2012.
Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said in a news release that the Texas economy continues to add jobs with growth in all 11 major industries over the last year.
The leisure and hospitality sector has seen the most growth, with 8,900 new jobs in January alone. It's added about 62,500 jobs over the last year for a 5.9 percent annual growth rate, according to the commission.
"It's good to see so many different opportunities continuing to arise here in Texas," Commissioner Ronny Congleton said in the release. "For example, the trade, transportation and utilities industry alone has grown by nearly 64,000 jobs over the past year."
The mining and logging sector added 19,700 jobs for the year ending in January. The construction field saw 28,500 new jobs over the same period.
Private businesses added 304,700 positions over the last year, the commission said.
When it comes to unemployment rates in various parts of the state, Midland had the lowest unemployment in January at 3.4 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state's highest jobless rate at 11.6 percent.
The following are the preliminary local jobless rates for January, with revised December numbers in parentheses:
- Abilene 5.4 (4.7)
- Amarillo 4.9 (4.1)
- Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos 5.8 (4.9)
- Beaumont-Port Arthur 10.8 (9.2)
- Brownsville-Harlingen 11.0 (9.7)
- College Station-Bryan 5.9 (5.0)
- Corpus Christi 6.5 (5.7)
- Dallas-Plano-Irving 6.7 (5.9)
- El Paso 9.5 (8.4)
- Fort Worth-Arlington 6.8 (5.7)
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 6.7 (6.0)
- Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 7.6 (6.6)
- Laredo 7.2 (6.1)
- Longview 6.2 (5.5)
- Lubbock 5.5 (4.7)
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 11.6 (10.3)
- Midland 3.4 (3.1)
- Odessa 4.1 (3.7)
- San Angelo 5.4 (4.6)
- San Antonio-New Braunfels 6.6 (5.7)
- Sherman-Denison 7.5 (6.7)
- Texarkana 7.2 (5.7)
- Tyler 7.2 (6.2)
- Victoria 5.8 (5.2)
- Waco 6.5 (5.6)
- Wichita Falls 6.3 (5.5)