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Texas jobless rate dips to 6.2% in October

The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 6.2 percent in October even though employers added just 7,400 jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday.

The rate of job creation was better in September, when the state gained 36,400 payroll positions. Those numbers weren’t reported previously because of the federal government shutdown last month. The state data come from the U.S. Labor Department.

The jobless rate in September was 6.3 percent, down from 6.4 percent in August and the third consecutive monthly decline. The U.S. rate was 7.3 percent in October.

In Fort Worth-Arlington, the jobless rate was 5.7 percent as the labor force shrank slightly and total employment was narrowly down from September. The local unemployment rate is unadjusted for seasonal variations, unlike the state figure. The comparable unadjusted state jobless rate is 6 percent.

In a prepared release, workforce commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said private employers added 12,600 jobs in October, partly offset by the loss of 5,200 government jobs.

In the past 12 months, Alcantar said, private payrolls were up 264,600, or 2.9 percent, from a year ago, while government jobs inched up 2,800, or 0.2 percent.

Mining and logging, the industry category that includes oil field jobs, had the strongest year-to-year growth, at 5.5 percent, or 15,000 jobs. It now stands at 290,000 payroll jobs, even though it was down 300 jobs in October.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which does its own seasonally adjusted job estimates, said Friday that it counted 18,200 new positions in Texas in October and 33,700 in September.

Its estimate for jobs added over the past 12 months is 221,300, about 17 percent below the state’s.

As it has for years, Midland, which sits in the booming Permian Basin oil patch, had the lowest statewide jobless rate in October, at 3.1 percent, according to the workforce commission.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley had the highest, at 10.1 percent.