Texas seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment grew by 28,000 jobs in January. Texas employers now have added 277,200 jobs over the past 12 months, for an annual job growth rate of 2.7 percent. The January statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, up slightly from a revised December unemployment rate of 4.2 percent and down from 4.5 percent a year ago. The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in January 2008, down from 5.0 percent in December and up from 4.6 percent in January 2007.
"Banner job gains in January indicate a resilient Texas labor market," said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Diane Rath. "Texas tops the nation in annual job growth rates in every industry sector, providing more opportunities for Texans."
The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted). The Odessa MSA was second at 3.4 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA at 3.5 percent.
Professional and Business Services gained 9,700 jobs in January, for a total of 64,800 jobs created since January 2007 and a 5.1 percent annual growth rate. Trade, Transportation and Utilities increased by 6,300 positions last month, for a total of 46,200 jobs added in the past 12 months. Together, these two industries accounted for more than a third -110,000 positions - of the annual job gains recorded across the state.
"Texas employers kicked off 2008 posting prominent job gains," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ron Lehman. "In the past 12 months, the state's annual job growth rate climbed to 2.7 percent, compared to the national growth rate of 0.6 percent."
Leisure and Hospitality added 5,200 positions last month, gaining 44,800 positions over the year, for an annual job growth rate of 4.7 percent. The Construction industry added 3,000 jobs in January for a 5.3 percent annual job growth rate since January 2007.