Texas jobless rate inches up to 6.4 percent

Posted Friday, Mar. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Unemployment in Texas rose to 6.4 percent in February from 6.3 percent the previous month despite unusually strong job growth.

Employers added 80,600 payroll positions, easily outpacing the rise in February, but seasonal adjustments produced the higher unemployment rate.

Without the adjustments, the jobless rate would have declined.

In the past year, Texas employers have added 359,800 nonfarm jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said all 11 of the state's major industry groups showed at least some growth, led by 24,500 more jobs in business and professional services and 15,700 in construction.

In Fort Worth-Arlington, the jobless rate was 6.3 percent, which is not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations. That was down from 6.7 percent in January and compares with a state unadjusted rate of 6.5 percent in February and 6.9 percent in January.

Fort Worth-Arlington employers added 5,400 jobs in February and have added 27,300 in the past year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down from 7.1 percent in February 2012.

The Texas jobless rate during the financial crisis peaked at 8.3 percent in March 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate slid to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January.

Since November, employers nationwide have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month, nearly double the average from last spring.

The oil boom in West Texas' Permian Basin continued as the Midland area recorded the state's lowest unemployment rate in February, 3.2 percent.

Nearby Odessa was next at 3.8 percent and Amarillo third at 4.6 percent.

The McAllen area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley had the highest rate, 11 percent.

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

Twitter: @jimfuquay

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