Texas added 80,600 jobs in February, nearly double the increase in second-place California. Lisa Givens is a spokeswoman for the Texas Workforce Commission.
“It’s not unusual to see an increase in the month of February, following that decrease we see as a result of the wind down of holiday hiring in January. We’re certainly encouraged by this, as well as the continued growth in Texas. We’re at over two years of continuous job growth now.”
Employment expanded across all the state’s eleven major industry sectors. Professional and business services added the lion’s share of new workers, followed by government and construction. The slimmest gains came in information and financial services.
The Texas unemployment rate was 6.3% in February. That’s up a tenth of a percentage point from January, but down from more than 7% a year ago. Givens says part of the reason for the rise in unemployment is the large number of people moving to Texas in search of work.
The Greater Houston unemployment rate was also 63% last month. In Houston’s case, that’s a drop of nearly half a point from the month before.
The national unemployment rate in February was over 8%. The state rate has now tracked below the national average for more than six years.