Unemployment rate falls to 4.3 percent

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter

AUSTIN – Fueled by an impressive expansion in the trade, transportation and utilities industry, Texas saw continued seasonally adjusted job growth in February. The trade, transportation and utilities industry saw its largest monthly increase in more than 20 years with the addition of 16,300 jobs. The state experienced a net gain of 7,100 nonagricultural jobs in February with 357,300 positions added over the year.

“We are pleased that Texas employers continue to create opportunities,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Our state offers many competitive advantages to employers who choose to do business in Texas, including a highly skilled workforce.”

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent in February, down from 4.4 percent in January. Texas continues to maintain an unemployment rate well below the U.S. national unemployment rate which now stands at 5.5 percent.

“The continued decline in our state’s unemployment rate is encouraging,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “The Texas workforce is strong and employers know that they will find skilled workers to match their hiring needs in our state.”

Five of 11 major industries added jobs in February. The Leisure and Hospitality industry added an estimated 9,700 positions in February and grew by 55,500 positions over the year, for an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. Texas employers also added jobs in Construction, Other Services and Financial Activities, which increased by a combined total of 2,800 jobs.

“Private-sector employers added 9,700 jobs in Texas in February,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “We appreciate the investment that these companies have made in their local communities and we look forward to being a resource for them as they continue to grow in the Lone Star State.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest February unemployment rate in the state at 2.8 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA with a 3.1 percent rate and the Lubbock MSA at 3.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

Audio downloads from Chairman Alcantar on the latest labor market data are available at: http://texasworkforce.org/news/press/2015/press-releases-2015.html#pressReleaseAudio. Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit www.tracer2.com.