Big State – Low Unemployment Numbers

Houston’s unemployment rate remained relatively low in October, slightly below the state’s rate, the Texas Workforce Commission reported.  The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan statistical area reported 6.2 percent unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, down slightly from 6.3 percent in September. The state’s non-adjusted rate held steady at 6.3 percent. A year ago, the Houston area’s non-adjusted rate was 7.7 percent, and the state’s was 7.6 percent. Additionally, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate of 6.6 percent in October was down slightly from 6.8 percent in September. Both the states and the Houston area’s rates remain well below the national unemployment rate, which is 7.9 percent seasonally adjusted and 7.5 percent non-adjusted.

Over the last year, 10 of 11 major industries in Texas have shown positive growth, and six of those industries displayed monthly gains in October. Education and health services grew more than any other industry last month, adding 13,700 jobs for the largest monthly gain in the series’ history. For the year, the industry has added more than 43,000 jobs and it’s one of four industries in Texas showing an annual growth rate of 3 percent or higher. Leisure and hospitality employment expanded by 8,700 positions in October. That industry has added 51,800 jobs over the past year.

The public sector also added jobs in Texas for the first time in five months. Federal, state and local governments combined gained 10,100 jobs, which reduced the number of government jobs lost in the state over the last year from 63,900 jobs in November to 55,500 in December.

Over the last year, government, information services and construction are the only industries with an aggregate decline in jobs. From December 2010 to December 2011, professional and business services gained the most jobs (53,100 jobs), followed by trade, transportation and utilities (45,800 jobs), and leisure and hospitality (41,200 jobs).

Midland and Odessa, well-known energy hubs, continue to have the lowest unemployment rates out of Texas’ metropolitan areas. Texas employers have added 277,400 jobs so far this year. That figure reflects a revision in the gains for September, down from the original 21,000 jobs reported to 10,000 jobs. The state has added jobs every month since July 2010. Texas continues to battle a down economy and also continues to lead the country in battling unemployment.  It’s a big state with plenty of promise.

Sourc: Texas Unemployment Rate down for Second Straight Month, Slips to 6.6 Percent in October.” The Republic. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. “Houston, State Unemployment Rates Nearing 6%.” Widgets RSS. Web. 18 Nov. 2012.

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