June 20, 2014

Texas jobless rate for May slips to 5.1 percent

Particularly strong growth in May helped state employers add 383,100 payroll jobs over 12 months, the biggest annual gain in 17 years.

The Texas unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in May, the third consecutive month of improvement, as employers added an unusually high 56,400 positions.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday said the latest seasonally adjusted jobless rate compares to 5.2 percent in April and 6.3 percent a year ago. The comparable U.S. rate for May was 6.3 percent.

TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said May’s strong job market helped the state’s employers add 383,100 payroll jobs in the past year, the best since September 1997.

All 11 of the state’s major industry categories showed growth last month, led by education and health services with a gain of 12,400 jobs compared with April. Mining, which includes the energy industry, had the highest growth rate over the past year at 7.4 percent at it added 21,400 positions.

“It is good news for job seekers when Texas industries grow across the board,” said Ronny Congleton, TWC commissioner representing labor.

In Fort Worth-Arlington, the jobless rate in May was 5 percent, up from 4.6 percent in April and down from 6.1 percent a year earlier.

Those figures are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations. The comparable state jobless rate is 5.1 percent in May, up from 4.7 percent in April and down from 6.3 percent a year earlier.

Midland, in the heart of the booming Permian Basin, had the lowest unemployment rate statewide last month at 2.6 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley had the highest unemployment rate in Texas at 8.6 percent.

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