Texas unemployment rate for August improves to 4.2 percent

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The statewide unemployment rate for August improved to 4.2 percent for the fourth straight month of declining jobless figures, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

Last month’s unemployment rate compared to a 4.3 percent statewide jobless rate in July, according to the TWC. Nationwide unemployment for August was 4.4 percent.

“Texas employers added 298,600 jobs over the year in the diverse and competitive Texas economy,” said commission chairman Andres Alcantar. “TWC is dedicated to building and deploying the partnerships necessary to support the rebuilding of our Texas communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and to put our fellow Texans back to work.”

Harvey made landfall in South Texas on Aug. 25. The Insurance Council of Texas on Friday estimated insured losses from Harvey at nearly $19 billion.

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Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate across Texas last month at 3.1 percent, according to a TWC statement . The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in Texas during August at 8 percent.

The Texas economy expanded for the 14th consecutive month with the addition of 5,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in August, according to commission officials.

The trade, transportation, and utilities industry recorded the largest private-industry gain for August with 9,100 jobs added. Construction expanded by 2,600 jobs, adding 15,200 jobs over the year, the TWC said.