Texas unemployment starts year down,up slightly in Fort Worth


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas jobless rate started the year on a lower note with 4.5 percent unemployment during January, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

Texas had a revised December statewide jobless rate of 4.6 percent, according to the Austin-based commission. Nationwide unemployment was 4.9 percent in January.

Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate in Texas during January, at 3.0 percent, the commission said. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest jobless rate, at 8.1 percent.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitian area, unemployment was up slightly to 4 percent from 3.8 percent in January. That was down from 4.5 percent a year earlier. The Dallas-Plano-Irving metropolitian area had a 3.7 percent unemployment rate in January, up slightly from 3.6 percent in December, down from 4.5 percent a year earlier.

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Overall, Texas employers expanded their payrolls in January, with the addition of 31,400 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs. That marks the 10th consecutive month of job growth for the state.

“Texas employers added 187,400 jobs over the past year, highlighting the diversity of our economy,” said Andres Alcantar, the commission’s chairman.

Texas added 157,300 private-sector jobs in the last year, for a 1.6 percent annual growth rate, according to the commission. The education and health services industry added 11,500 jobs in January, representing the largest over-the-month gain since October 2004. Over the year, that industry gained 62,100 jobs.


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