Texas’ unemployment rate drops slightly, while Lubbock’s rate remains flat.

The Lubbock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Lubbock and Crosby Counties, posted a 6.5 percent unemployment rate for July 2012, unchanged from June 2012’s rate, yet still down from July 2011’s 7.1 percent.

The number of unemployed for July of this year is only slightly higher than last months, showing 9,672 people unemployed across the Lubbock MSA, barely up from June’s 9,643.

Total nonfarm employment for the Lubbock MSA dropped by 1,200 jobs, with the biggest decreases seen in the service providing sectors, particularly trade, transportation, and utilities.

Government positions were also reduced, with the state government showing a 200 job decrease and local government showing a 300 job decrease. The federal government sector remained unchanged.

The unemployment rate across the South Plains also remained unchanged, staying steady at 6.6 percent.

The city of Lubbock’s unemployment rate also remained steady at 6.4 percent for July, but is still down from July 2011’s 7 percent. 7,771 people remain unemployed within the Lubbock city limits. The labor force within the Lubbock city limits is up to 122,020 from June’s 121,708.

The highest unemployment rate in the South Plains is in Dickens County with 9.8 percent for July, down from 10.1 from June, and far down from July 2011’s 13.4. They have 97 people unemployed out of a labor force of 985. The County’s labor force has dropped from 1,028 tallied in June of this year.

The lowest unemployment rate across the South Plains is in Yoakum County at 4.1 percent. Only 201 people are unemployed out of a total labor force of more than 4,950.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area posted the lowest unemployment rate in the state for a more-populated area at 4.2 percent, with the Odessa MSA coming in at 4.9 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA third at 5.5 percent.

The highest rate in the state is in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area at 12.3 percent, followed by the Brownsville-Harlingen Area at 11.6 percent, and the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA at 11.4 percent.

Statewide, the Texas unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent for July 2012, down from June’s 7.6 percent and far down from July 2011’s 8.5 percent.

Texas has added 231,442 people to the total labor force since July of 2011, resulting in a total state labor force of 12,729,393.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, there are 960,545 people not employed that are in the potential labor force, down 99,373 from the same period in 2011.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for July 2012 is 8.3 percent, up from June 2012’s 8.2 percent, but down from July 2011’s 9.1 percent. The country’s unemployment-population ratio is at 58.4 percent, down from June’s 58.6 percent.

The complete release from the Texas Workforce Commission is available here.