The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) released its August job numbers today. It showed, for the third consecutive month, the (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate remained at 3.4 percent. TWC says this is the lowest unemployment rate since 1976, when it began tracking the statistic.
The United States’ August unemployment rate — announced on September 6 — was 3.7 percent.
Texas ranks 25 out of 50 states in overall unemployment rate with the lowest being Vermont at 2.1 percent.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said of the news, “This is yet another solid month of jobs gains for Texas. Unemployment has remained at historically low levels, and the trends we are seeing in the labor market continue to point toward growth in the overall Texas economy, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than we have seen in previous years.”
According to the TWC, since July the Texas economy has added “18,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm positions.” Since August of last year, Texas employers added 303,500 new jobs.
The three biggest metropolitan areas (Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio) had August unemployment rates of 3.3, 3.9, and 3.2 percent respectively. Austin’s unemployment rate dropped from 2.9 percent in July to 2.8 percent in August.
The city with the lowest unemployment rate is Midland at 2.2 percent. The highest unemployment rate in the state belongs to Beaumont-Port Arthur at 5.9 percent.
The industry with the largest increase in jobs was in education and health services which added 8,800. The largest decrease came from the mining and logging industry, which dropped 1,800 jobs.
The state government added 3,400 jobs.
About the mining and logging industry’s decrease, Hegar said, “The slight weakness in the mining sector is not unexpected given recent volatility in energy, and we will continue to monitor employment levels in retail trade, which is another important area that has seen some declines.”
Since August of 2018, the industry with the greatest percentage of added jobs was construction which increased its job numbers by 5.9 percent.
TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said of the numbers, “Our businesses in Texas continue to thrive every day in a strong economy, and this three-month historic low unemployment rate is encouraging for all Texans.”
He added, “Texas has created an environment for success, thanks to Governor Abbott’s leadership, and it should continue to support additional business expansion for our broad range of industry employers.”
The August job numbers point to a continuing strong economy with some room to improve. But for a state as large and diverse as Texas, numbers like this show that the Lone Star state continues to do something right.
Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.