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Texas unemployment rate up in October to 4.4 percent

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas unemployment rate for October rose to 4.4 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The figure compares to a statewide jobless rate of 4.2 percent in September. Nationwide unemployment was 5.0 percent last month, the TWC said.

Amarillo had the lowest statewide unemployment rate during October at 3.2 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in Texas at 7.4 percent, according to agency figures.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington area, the unemployment rate was up slightly from September, rising to 4.2 percent from 4.1 percent. But it was down from the 4.5 percent from October 2014. In the Dallas-Plano-Irving area, the unemployment rate was also up slightly, to 3.9 percent, from 3.8 percent in September. That was still down from the 4.5 percent from October 2014.

Texas employers added 20,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in October, marking the eighth month of 2015 with jobs added. The state’s job increases have yielded a 1.7 percent annual growth rate continuing its string of positive annual growth for 66 consecutive months.

“Texas employers continue to contribute to the Texas economy by adding jobs, including 203,900 over the past year,” said Andres Alcantar, commission chairman. “Thanks to the innovation and efforts of employers in a range of industries, Texas workers continue to have greater opportunities to demonstrate their world class work ethic and skill set.”

Service providing industries led the state’s October job gains with the addition of 12,400 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 3,300 positions in the professional and business services industry. The construction industry grew by 2,600 jobs in October, according to a TWC statement.



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