Texas Jobless Rate Hits 40-Year Record Low of 3.9 Percent

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Texas jobless rate hit a 40-year record low in October with unemployment dropping to 3.9 percent, outpacing the monthly national average and signaling the state rebounded since Hurricane Harvey.

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reported Friday that the Lone Star State led the nation adding 316,100 jobs over the past year including 71,500 last month. Texas joblessness for October came in at 3.9 percent, below the national monthly unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. In 2017, the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 5 percent in April, dropping each month thereafter. In September, it fell to 4 percent.

“By adding an impressive 71,500 jobs over the past month and 316,100 jobs over the year, Texas employers have once again demonstrated their unmatched innovation and ability to achieve success in our country’s premier place to do business,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar in a prepared statement. “This economy provides valuable opportunities for the highly skilled Texas workforce to also achieve success.”

In October, the annual employment growth for Texas was 2.6 percent, marking 90 consecutive months of annual growth, according to TWC. They based their figures on statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Breitbart Texas has reported on the state’s explosive economy. Even with pitfalls like Hurricane Harvey and energy sector dips, the state continues to receive accolades for its diversified economy, business-friendly climate, and good quality of life. a major driver behind companies and residents from other states relocating in Texas.

“Texas has now created net nonfarm jobs in a remarkable 80 of the last 85 months, contributing to the creation of roughly one out of every five new jobs nationwide since December 2007,” said Vance Ginn, director of the Center of Economic Prosperity at the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation, in response to the latest TWC data.

“The Texas model’s success doesn’t end there as the state’s record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent continues to be at or below 5 percent for an unmatched 40 straight months in comparable states. Texas’ rebound in job creation after a record rain event shows the resiliency of Texans to flourish in a free enterprise system with limited government,” added Ginn.

The October statistics also show Texas leisure and hospitality employment rebounded by 34,700 after experiencing its largest monthly decline in September because of Hurricane Harvey related business closures. Additionally, from October 2016 to October 2017, this industry sector added 41,000 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities industries grew by more than 10,000 jobs while professional and business services expanded by 6,300 jobs.

“Private-sector employers added 64,100 jobs in October and have accounted for the addition of 279,300 positions in Texas over the past year as the state has continued to expand its employment,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs.

Regionally, Amarillo and Midland logged the state’s lowest monthly unemployment figures for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4 percent. The College Station-Bryan MSA followed with a 2.5 percent rate. Austin-Round Rock and Lubbock metros landed a 2.6 percent rate. San Antonio-New Braunfels came in at 2.9 percent. The greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area rate reflected 3 percent.

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA, hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, experienced a 4.1 percent rate, down from 4.8 during the cataclysmic storm and subsequent flooding. The Beaumont-Port Arthur area, also ravaged by Harvey’s wrath, saw a higher 6.3 percent unemployment rate in October, but that was down from September’s 8.2 percent amid the hurricane.

Only Florida bested Texas by adding 125,300 jobs in October. California placed third with 31,700 jobs.

Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.


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