Texas Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.2 Percent in March
AUSTIN, April 18, 2015 – Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in March, down from 4.3 percent in February. The state has not seen a rate this low since July 2007 and Texas continues to trend below the national average of 5.5 percent.
Texas’ total nonfarm seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 25,400 jobs in March’s preliminary estimate. This comes on the heels of an impressive string of 53 straight months of job growth for the state. Over the year, the state has added 327,500 jobs for an overall growth rate of 2.9 percent, outpacing the national growth rate of 2.3 percent.
“Maintaining a diversity of employment opportunities has kept Texas strong for the past four years,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “We must continue to build and support partnerships that will help connect employers to a quality supply of skilled workers and equip job seekers with training that will help them succeed.” The Mining and Logging industry, which includes oil and gas employment, saw a decline in March with the loss of an estimated 2,800 jobs statewide. “While some workers may be temporarily impacted by statewide reductions in the oil and gas industry, our 28 local workforce boards stand ready to help these and all job seekers identify transferrable skills for other employment opportunities or obtain training that will help them quickly transition to new jobs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton.
The Education and Health Services industry added 3,400 jobs in March, followed in job gains by the Financial Activities industry which increased by 2,400 positions. Job gains were also experienced in the Leisure and Hospitality and Other Services.
“Connecting employers with the workers they need is critical to our state’s success,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “Employers and job seekers can access the largest job-matching network in the state through WorkInTexas.com. Today, the site offers more than 250,000 available positions for those seeking work, and a tremendous pool of outstanding job seekers for employers to choose from for their workforce needs.”
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest March unemployment rate in the state at 2.9 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA with a 3.0 percent rate and the Lubbock, College Station-Bryan and Austin-Round Rock MSAs at 3.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted).