December employment statistics were released this morning by the Texas Workforce Commission.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 7.8 percent, the lowest unemployment rate in the state since July 2009. The unemployment rate in November was 8.1 percent and 8.3 percent in December of 2010.

Texas added 20,200 nonfarm jobs in December for a total of 204,500 jobs added over the year. Private employers in Texas added 10,100 jobs in December for a total of 260,000 private sector jobs added over the year. Texas has experienced positive annual job growth for the last 20 consecutive months with annual growth rates at or above 2.0 percent for the last seven months.

“Texas continues to see signs of improvement in the labor market,” said Texas Workforce Commission  Chairman Tom Pauken. “Texas’ unemployment rate has decreased for the third consecutive month, and now stands at 7.8 percent, which is the lowest since July 2009. Our state’s unemployment rate remains below the national unemployment rate of 8.5 percent.”

Midland continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state.  In December they were at 3.9 percent, a drop of two tenths of a percent from November.

Lubbock's unemployment rate also dropped two tenths of a percent in December to 5.3 percent.

Abilene's unemployment rate checked in a 6 percent, a drop of two tenths of a percent.

Other regional unemployment rates include Amarillo at 4.9 percent, Wichita Falls at 6.6 percent, Odessa at 5 percent and San Angelo at 5.5 percent.