AUSTIN — Texas’ private sector continued to grow in October, adding 13,500 jobs. Texas’ total nonfarm employment has expanded by 231,600 jobs over the year to reach an estimated 10,616,500 positions in October. Overall, Texas added 2,500 jobs over the month. Texas has experienced positive annual job growth in the past 18 months with annual growth rates above 2.0 percent for the last five consecutive months.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in October, down slightly from 8.5 percent in September, and remains below the national unemployment rate of 9.0 percent.
“Private employers continue to invest their capital in the growing Texas workforce,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. “The private sector has added an impressive 286,200 jobs since October 2010, for a growth rate of 3.4 percent.”
Over the year, nine of the 11 major industries have added jobs. Mining and Logging employment climbed for the 11th time in the past 12 months with an estimated increase of 4,500 jobs in October. Over the past year, Mining and Logging has grown by 20.5 percent. This major industry has grown by 33,900 jobs since January 2011.
“Several of our major industries are continuing to grow, including the Education and Health Services industry,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “That industry has expanded by more than 6,000 jobs for the third consecutive month.”
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 6,500 jobs in October 2011, growing by 53,900 jobs over the year. Leisure and Hospitality added 14,900 jobs over the month, for a total of 35,600 jobs since October 2010. Government employment declined by 11,000 jobs in October, bringing the number of Government jobs lost over the year to 54,600 jobs.
“Texas’ unemployment rate is going down even as its civilian labor force has grown to more than 12.3 million,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. “We encourage those looking for work to utilize Workforce Solutions services to connect with job opportunities in our growing industries.”
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest October unemployment rate in the state at 4.5 percent. The Amarillo MSA came in second at 5.6 percent, and the Odessa MSA third at 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted).