AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ unemployment rate declined for the second month in a row to 5.1 percent in October as the state continues to add jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.
The October rate was down from 6.2 percent a year before, and slightly lower than September’s 5.2 percent. Steady job gains also helped push the October nationwide unemployment rate to a six-year low of 5.8 percent, labor officials reported.
In the past year, Texas added 421,900 total nonfarm jobs, setting a record for jobs added statewide for the third consecutive month. In September, the Texas economy grew by a revised 414,700 jobs over the year.
“We have witnessed the Texas economy growing stronger and stronger over the last several years, culminating in another record-breaking month,” commission chairman Andres Alcantar said. “The diversity of our growing industries, businesses and skilled workers has made for a prosperous Texas.”
Texas added 35,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs last month. Eight of 11 major industries added jobs in October, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 17,500 jobs. Employers added 1,500 manufacturing jobs, while construction grew by 9,200 jobs, according to state figures.
Mining and logging, which includes jobs related to the oil and gas industry, grew by 4,100 positions. Mining and logging also grew at a rate of 11.3 percent over the year, faster than any other major industry in Texas.
Midland had the lowest unemployment rate in Texas during October at 2.5 percent, while neighboring Odessa had a jobless rate of 3 percent. The state’s highest unemployment was in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 7.9 percent.
In the Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA, unemployment in October dropped to 4.9 percent, down from 5 percent in September and down from 6 percent a year earlier. In Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, unemployment in October was 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent in September and down from 5.9 percent a year earlier.