AUSTIN — Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in January, the lowest since November 2008. It was down from 6.0 percent in December 2013 and remained below the nation’s January unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.
Texas employers expanded their payrolls in January with the addition of 33,900 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs, for a total of 322,400 jobs added over the year.
“The decline in our state’s unemployment rate and the addition of 33,900 jobs in January are positive signs, and I’m encouraged that the Texas economy has started the year on a strong note,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “All 11 major industries added jobs over the year, highlighting the favorable economic conditions in Texas for employers and job seekers.”
Most major industries added jobs over the month. The trade, transportation, and utilities industry added the greatest number of jobs in January, expanding by 7,600 positions. This industry also reported the highest number of jobs added over the last 12 months, 77,300.
“The continued strong monthly job growth among varied industries like education and health services and trade, transportation and utilities means opportunities for working Texans and their families,” said Commissioner Representing Employers Ronny Congleton. “I encourage job seekers to tap into the job-search tools available through Texas Workforce Solutions offices statewide.”
The mining and logging industry, which includes oil and gas related jobs, added 3,200 positions in January, for a total of 15,800 jobs over the year and an annual growth rate of 5.6 percent—the highest among the 11 major industries in Texas.
“We’ve seen 293,900 private-sector jobs added here over the last year, for a 3.2 percent annual growth rate,” said Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “I’m excited to see private employers in Texas continuing to grow their investments here.”
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest January unemployment rate in the state at 2.9 percent. The Odessa MSA had the second lowest at 3.6 percent and the Amarillo MSA was third at 4.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted).