Texas September Jobless Rate Eases to 5.2 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate declined slightly to 5.2 percent in September as the state's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force topped 13 million for the first time, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The August statewide jobless rate was 5.3 percent. The nationwide unemployment rate for September was 5.9 percent, a six-year low.

The Texas economy added 36,400 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs last month, according to the TWC.

"The Texas economy, from our employers across all major industries to our skilled and dedicated workers, continues to perform at a record pace," said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman. "With a record setting 413,700 jobs added over the year, and our labor force surpassing the 13 million milestone, our state shows how partnerships and a strong business climate fuel job growth for the people of Texas."

Census figures Friday listed the estimated 2013 Texas population at nearly 26.5 million.

The Midland area had the lowest September jobless rate statewide at 2.6 percent. Unemployment in neighboring Odessa stood at 3.1 percent last month.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state's highest jobless rate in September at 8.5 percent, the TWC reported.

Over the month, nine of 11 major industries showed positive growth, led by leisure and hospitality with 9,300 jobs added in September, commission officials said.

"With so much consistent expansion and hundreds of thousands of jobs added year-over-year, Texas employers should be proud of the tremendous growth they have been able to achieve here," said Commissioner Hope Andrade.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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