Texas unemployment rate improves to 3.9 percent in October

Texas oil man

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas unemployment rate fell for the sixth straight month with an October jobless figure of 3.9 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

A TWC statement said it’s the lowest unemployment rate in four decades.

September unemployment for Texas was 4 percent. The nationwide jobless rate in October was 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years.

The Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitian Statistical Area (MSA) unemployment rate was 3 percent, down from 3.4 percent in September and 4 percent from a year earlier. The Dallas-Irving-Plano MSA also had an unemployment rate of 3 percent, down from 3.3 percent in September and 3.8 percent a year earlier.

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Amarillo and Midland had the lowest unemployment rates in Texas last month at 2.4 percent. The Beaumont-Port Arthur area had the state’s highest jobless rate in October at 6. 3 percent, TWC officials said.

Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas on Aug. 25, leading to storms and heavy rain that swamped parts of Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur.

The Texas economy added 71,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in October. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2.6 percent in October, marking 90 consecutive months of annual growth, according to the TWC.

“By adding an impressive 71,500 jobs over the past month and 316,100 jobs over the year, Texas employers have once again demonstrated their unmatched innovation and ability to achieve success in our country’s premier place to do business,” said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman.

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Leisure and hospitality employment rebounded by adding 34,700 jobs in October, after declines in September due to Harvey-affected business closures, the agency said. Mining and logging employment, which includes the petroleum industry showed a 1.3 percent increase from the previous month, but an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier, indicating that the industry continues to recover from low oil and gas prices of the past two years.