TEXAS–National unemployment numbers took yet another jump in data released today by the federal government. While adding 175,000 jobs, the unemployment rate moved upwards to 6.7 percent. Not so in Texas, where unemployment dropped to well below the six percent level.
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today in a written statement that Texas’ unemployment fell yet again from 6.0 percent to 5.7 percent.
“Every day,” Perry proudly stated, “more Texans are going to work, earning a living and supporting their families because we follow a simple recipe for job creation: we keep our taxes low, our regulations effective and predictable, our courts fair and our schools accountable.”
“That’s why Texas has been the national epicenter for job creation for more than a decade,” Gov. Perry explained, “and today’s numbers indicate we’re not slowing down anytime soon. While Washington is unable to significantly move the needle on unemployment, in Texas we free job creators to pursue success, which means more good-paying jobs for more Texans.”
An article in The Washington Post quotes a report from the U.S. Labor Department that revealed new jobs increasing since a hiring plunge late last year. However, the February report shows a disturbing trend as the rate of unemployment increased by the same amount the Texas unemployment rate decreased, 0.3 percent.
The increase in the national unemployment rate was accredited to more people entering the workforce and looking for jobs.
Long-term unemployment numbers rose by significantly more than the rate of new jobs created. Those who have been out of work for longer than six months increased by 203,000 to bring the total to 3.8 million people out of work. These numbers do not reflect the number of people who dropped off the back end of the unemployment and who are no longer looking for work.
Of the 175,000 new jobs created nationally, 33,900 of them were created in Texas according to a Texas Workforce Commission report posted by the Dallas Morning News today. This represents nearly 20 percent of all jobs created in the United States. Trade, transportation and utilities led Texas’ monthly job growth, adding 7,600 jobs. It was followed by education and health services (+7,100), construction (+6,200), leisure and hospitality (+4,800) and energy (+3,200).
“The decline in our state’s unemployment rate and the addition of 33,900 jobs in January are positive signs, and I’m encouraged that the Texas economy has started the year on a strong note,” said Texas Workforce Commission chairman Andres Alcantar.
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX