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Texas Unemployment Rate Drops, Lubbock’s Rate Climbs Slightly

photologue_np, Flickr

The unemployment rate has dropped overall for the State of Texas, but not for the Hub City.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 5.7 percent in January, which is the lowest since November 2008. This compares to December 2013’s 6.0 percent, and remained below the nation’s January 2014 unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, most major industries added jobs over the month, with the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry adding the greatest number of jobs with an expansion of 7,600 positions.

“All 11 major industries added jobs over the year, highlighting the favorable economic conditions in Texas for employers and job seekers,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar.

The unemployment rate in the Lubbock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is comprised of Lubbock and Crosby Counties, rose to 4.3 percent for January 2014, up from December 2013’s 4.2 percent, yet still down from January 2013’s 5.5 percent.

In January 2014, Lubbock saw a total nonfarm employment decrease from December 2013 of 1,500. The biggest losses were from the Professional and Business Services and Retail Trade sectors, as well as the Leisure and Hospitality and Educational and Health Services sectors. No industry sector in the Lubbock MSA showed any significant increases in employment from December into January.

Employment decline is not particularly surprising when moving out of the holiday season, and the Lubbock MSA has added 4,000 jobs overall from January 2013 into January of 2014.

“When we see the unemployment rate going down over this past year and take into consideration not only the added jobs for new workers, but also dip into the unemployed pool of our civilian labor force, it is an encouraging sign of economic growth for our area,” said Martin Aguirre, CEO of Workforce Solutions South Plains.

The lowest unemployment rate in the state for January 2014 was in the Midland MSA at 2.9 percent, followed by Odessa at 3.6 percent, and the Amarillo MSA is third at 4.1 percent.

The highest unemployment rate in the state is in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 10.5 percent, followed by the Brownsville-Harlingen area at 9.7 percent, and the Beaumont-Port Arthur area at 9.4 percent.

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