Lubbock unemployment rate increases to 5.5%

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Updated: 3/08/2013 9:29 am
Lubbock's unemployment rate took a step up in new numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission. The January unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, up from 4.7 percent in December. The rate was six percent in January 2012.

The lowest unemployment rate in the state is in Midland at 3.4 percent, followed by Odessa at 4.1 percent and Amarillo at 4.9 percent. These are non-seasonally-adjusted numbers.

The state's unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.3 percent, ending six straight months of declines. New figures released Friday from the Labor Department show the February unemployment rate nationwide is 7.7 percent.

Here is a news release from the TWC:

AUSTIN — Texas employers continued to expand their payrolls in January with the addition of 10,400 total nonfarm jobs for a total of 310,900 jobs added over the year. In January 2013, Texas reported more than 11 million total nonfarm jobs.

After declining for six consecutive months, the unemployment rate in Texas rose slightly in January to 6.3 percent, and was down nine-tenths of a percentage point over the year. It remained well below the nation’s January unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.

“The Texas economy continues to add jobs and create opportunity, with growth in all 11 major industries over the last year,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “I encourage job seekers and employers to visit WorkInTexas.com, or a local Workforce Solutions office, to take advantage of the quality services available to them.”

Eight out of 11 major industries saw positive growth over the month, with Leisure and Hospitality leading the way in hiring for January with 8,900 jobs added. This industry has added 62,500 jobs over the last year for a 5.9 percent annual growth rate.

“It’s good to see so many different opportunities continuing to arise here in Texas,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “For example the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry alone has grown by nearly 64,000 jobs over the past year. That’s more than any other industry in Texas.”

The Mining and Logging industry, which includes oil- and gas-related jobs, added 19,700 jobs from January 2012 to January 2013 for a 7.6 percent annual growth rate. The Construction industry grew by 28,500 jobs over the last year for a 5.0 percent annual growth rate.

Private industries in Texas added 15,400 jobs in January, for a total of 304,700 private sector jobs added over the past year. Over the last year the private sector has grown at a rate of 3.4 percent.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest January unemployment rate in the state at 3.4 percent. The Odessa MSA came in second at 4.1 percent and the Amarillo MSA third at 4.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

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