2009-06-25 / General Stories

Texas Unemployment Rises to 7.1 Percent

State far below national rate of 9.4

Texas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose in May to 7.1 percent and continued to trend well below the national rate of 9.4 percent. The Texas unemployment rate was up from a revised 6.6 percent in April when the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 8.9 percent.

Texas' seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment fell by 24,700 jobs in May. Texas has recorded a net loss of 222,600 jobs in the past 12 months, compared with job losses of 5.4 million in the United States during the same period.

"The Texas unemployment rate continued to follow the national unemployment rate's upward trend," said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Tom Pauken. "Few industries were spared in May as Texas employers continued to report job losses. Continued unemployment claims increased in Texas as well."

Texas saw broad industry losses in May. Hardest hit were manufacturing with a loss of 12,800 jobs over the month, followed by construction with a loss of 10,400 jobs.

"Texas workers are facing a tight job market as employers across most industries reported job losses in May," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "Job search assistance is available from TWC and 28 workforce boards across the state."

Education and health services remained a bright spot in the Texas economy with an additional 5,800 jobs in May for a gain of 59,600 jobs over the year. The other services industry, which includes automotive, electronic, and commercial repair and maintenance, grew by 5,200 jobs this month.

"While our unemployment rate rose in May, it does remain 2.3 percentage points below the national rate, and Texas experienced job growth in education and health care," said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. "TWC and the workforce centers around the state remain focused on helping Texans find jobs."

The Lubbock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Amarillo MSA recorded the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 percent. The College Station-Bryan MSA was third lowest at 4.9 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463- 8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.

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