Texas Jobless Rate Rises, Local Rates Fall

AUSTIN (March 29, 2013)--The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly in February to 6.4 percent, but officials say leading industries continue to show growth.

The rate is an increase from 6.3 percent in January and 6.1 percent in December.

Local rates, which are not seasonally adjusted, fell.

In Waco, the unemployment rate in February was 6.1 percent, down from 6.5 percent in January. In February 2012, the rate was 6.9 percent.

In the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood area, the rate in February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent in January. In February 2012, the rate was 7.9 percent.

The state added 80,600 jobs in February, bringing the total seasonally- adjusted, nonfarm jobs added over the last year to 359,800, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The state unemployment rate remains well below the 7.1 percent recorded in February 2012 and it’s also below the latest national rate of 7.7 percent.

Officials say state industries such as construction and manufacturing added 21,200 jobs in February.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 25,400 jobs.

The Midland area recorded the lowest unemployment rate in February at 3.2 percent.

“Private employers have added 347,200 jobs over the year, growing at a rate of almost 4 percent,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade.

“As these businesses continue to grow their investments, I am committed to ensuring that our state can continue to meet their workforce needs.”

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