AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.2 percent in March for the seventh straight month of declines.
The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the figure is down slightly from February unemployment of 4.3 percent.
The nationwide jobless rate was 5.5 percent in March.
TWC officials in Austin say last month’s unemployment rate for Texas was the lowest since July 2007. Texas has added 327,500 jobs in the past year.
Midland had the lowest average jobless rate for Texas during March at 2.9 percent. The Texas Workforce Commission reports the state’s highest unemployment rate was the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 7.5 percent.
Last month’s unemployment rate for Texas was the lowest since July 2007. Texas has added 327,500 jobs in the past year for an overall growth rate of 2.9 percent, outpacing the national growth rate of 2.3 percent, TWC said, in a statement.
“While the state of Texas has achieved enormous success in creating jobs and spurring economic growth, it’s time to renew our focus on promoting smarter tax policies that energize our economy and empower entrepreneurs to reinvest their capital in the Lone Star State,” Gov. Greg Abbott said, in response to the latest jobless figures.
Midland had the lowest average jobless rate for Texas during March at 2.9 percent. The state’s highest unemployment rate was the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 7.5 percent, according to TWC figures.
The education and health services industry added 3,400 jobs in March. The financial activities industry increased by 2,400 positions. The mining and logging industry, which includes oil and gas employment, saw a decline in March with the loss of about 2,800 jobs statewide.
“Maintaining a diversity of employment opportunities has kept Texas strong for the past four years,” said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman. “We must continue to build and support partnerships that will help connect employers to a quality supply of skilled workers and equip job seekers with training that will help them succeed.”
The Fort Worth-Arlington unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for March, but was down from 5.3 percent in March 2014. The Dallas-Irving-Plano rate was 4 percent, down from 4.1 percent in February and down from 5.4 percent a year earlier. – Robert Francis contributed to this report.