Unemployment rate remains at historic low for third straight month

AUSTIN January 21, 2018 - As 2018 concluded, the Texas economy added another month of positive employment growth, with 38,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm positions added for the month of December. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, and has remained at the same historic 43-year low since October 2018. Annual employment growth for Texas was 3.2 percent in December, and marked 104 consecutive months of annual growth. Over the year, Texas has added 391,800 jobs as Total Nonfarm employment reached a new high of 12,744,100.

“Texas is the place to be for job growth and economic development as Texas employers in our state continue to create job opportunities for the highly skilled Texas workforce. Since last December, Texas employers added 391,800 jobs, and for the third consecutive month, unemployment in Texas is at record lows,” said TWC Chair Ruth R. Hughs. “With mining and logging jobs, which includes oil and gas employment, up 18 percent from the prior year, our employers and our workers are providing the energy that fuels the U.S. economy.”

Private sector annual employment growth was 3.7 percent in December and has held above 3.0 percent since April 2018. Ten out of 11 major industries expanded over the month as well as over the year.

Mining and Logging registered a series-high annual growth rate of 18.0 percent. Annually, this industry also led all other major industries in Texas since May 2017. Construction added 4,500 jobs over the month. It grew at 6.4 percent over the year, second fastest among major industries in Texas. Its annual growth has stayed positive since September 2011.

“With businesses hiring at a record clip, there’s never been a better time to plan a great Texas career,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “A great way to start a career in growing, well-paying fields in industries like construction or mining and logging is through Registered Apprenticeships, where employees can earn while they learn. Visit www.apprenticeships.gov or your local Texas Workforce Solutions office to learn more about these great opportunities.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded December’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA and Odessa MSA which tied for the second lowest with a rate of 2.6 percent. The Austin-Round Rock MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 2.7 percent.

“The December labor statistics show annual growth of 388,800 jobs in Texas’ private-sector industries, and 35,400 jobs added over the month. This speaks to the ongoing strength of our economy and the incredible opportunities it creates for job seekers and employers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert D.Thomas. 

“Through Texas Workforce Commission workforce training programs such as the Skills Development Fund and the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET), workers have the opportunity to realize the full potential that our state has to offer.”

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