The unemployment rate has dropped for both Texas and Lubbock.

The December 2011 unemployment rate for the Lubbock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lubbock and Crosby Counties, has dropped to 5.3 percent, down from November 2011’s 5.5 percent and far down from December 2010’s 5.9 percent.

This comes despite losing 100 nonfarm jobs from the area between November and December of 2011, but the Lubbock MSA still sports a 4,400 job increase from December 2010 to last month, bring December’s total nonfarm employment to 134,700.

Areas that lost jobs include the private service industry, dropping 200 jobs from November 2011 to December 2011. Professional and business services and educational and health services also dropped 200 jobs each in the same period.

Modest job gains were made in the government sector, with state government adding 200 jobs, while the federal government lost 100 jobs in the area. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector also gained 300 jobs, 200 of which are retail trade positions.

Statewide, December’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest in 2 and a half years. The national unemployment rate is 8.5 percent.