Nonfarm employment rose in 35 of the 37 largest metro areas between February 2010 and February 2011. Greater Houston enjoyed the largest percentage increase in employment over the period, a jump of 3.7 percent. That gave it a slight lead over #2 Austin and #3 Silicon Valley.
Houston added a total of 93,400 jobs year-over-year. That put the region in second place in terms of absolute employment growth, behind New York City and ahead of Dallas.
Houston’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent in February, down from 7.6 percent in January. The national unemployment rate for February was 8.7 percent. Midland, Texas and Bismarck, North Dakota tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 3.8 percent.