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Unemployment Rate Rises for Both Texas, Lubbock for January 2013

The January unemployment rate in Texas rose slightly from the preceding month, but still shows improvement from one year ago.

The unemployment rate in Texas for January 2013 was at 6.3 percent, after dropping for six consecutive months, but was still nine-tenths of a point lower than January 2012.

Locally, the unemployment rate for the Lubbock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lubbock and Crosby Counties, hit 5.5 percent, up from December 2012’s 4.7 percent, but still down from January 2012’s 6 percent.

Lubbock County’s unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent for January 2013, up from December’s 4.7 percent, but still down from the 5.9 percent rate posted in January 2012.

The highest unemployment rate in the South Plains was in Dickens County at 9.5 percent, up from December’s 8.6 percent and lower than January 2012’s 10.8 percent, and the lowest was in Yoakum County at 3.5 percent, up slightly from December 2012’s 2.9 percent, but still lower than January 2012’s 3.8 percent. Hockley County was second-lowest at 4.9 percent.

Total nonfarm employment declined in January 2013 for the Lubbock MSA, posting a decline of 1,900 jobs from the 131,500 employed in the category in December 2012, which is not uncommon coming out of the holiday season.

The private service providing sector saw the biggest decrease in the Lubbock MSA, with a loss of 1,300 jobs, 700 of those lost from trade, transportation, and utilities and 600 lost from retail trade. Declines were also seen in the government sector, with a reduction of 300 jobs from the federal government, 200 from state government, and 100 from local governments.

Statewide, eight out of 11 major industries saw positive growth over the month, with Leisure and Hospitality leading the way in hiring for January with 8,900 jobs added, bringing their total to 62,500 jobs added in Texas over the last year, a 5.9 percent annual growth rate.

Overall, Texas added 10,400 total nonfarm jobs for a total of 310,900 jobs added over the year, reporting more than 11 million total nonfarm jobs.

“The Texas economy continues to add jobs and create opportunity, with growth in all 11 major industries over the last year,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. “I encourage job seekers and employers to visit, or a local Workforce Solutions office, to take advantage of the quality services available to them.

The lowest unemployment rate in the state for January 2013 was the Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area at 3.4 percent, with the Odessa MSA coming in second at 4.1 percent, and the Amarillo MSA third at 4.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The highest unemployment rate in Texas was in the McAllen – Edinburgh – Mission area at 11.6 percent, up from December 2012’s 10.5 percent, yet still down from January 2012’s 11.8 percent. The second-highest rate in the state was in the Brownsville – Harlingen area at 11 percent, followed by the Beaumont – Port Arthur with 10.8 percent.

More information on the unemployment rate of cities across Texas is available here.

The seasonally-adjusted national unemployment rate is at 7.9 percent.

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