State jobless rate falls to 5.9 percent in August

Texas added nearly 40,000 non-agricultural jobs in August as the state unemployment rate dipped to 5.9 percent from 6.2 percent.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, significant drops in the jobless rate also were recorded for the month, although Valley cities remain among the highest in the state for their numbers of unemployed workers.

In the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area, the August jobless rate dropped to 7.8 percent from 8.8 percent, while in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, the rate fell to 8.9 percent from 9.9 percent.

The increase in jobs in the state makes it 15 out of 16 straight months in which Texas added more jobs than the state lost.

“The continued decrease in the unemployment rate and the positive job growth is good news for Texas,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chair Bryan Daniel. “The demand for middle skills jobs — those requiring less than a bachelor’s degree, but more than a high school diploma — continues to grow and TWC is committed to ensuring the state’s workforce has the tools needed to succeed in these high demand jobs.”

The Professional and Business Services industry led the way in August with a gain of 29,600 jobs during the month. Education and Health Services employment added 17,800 positions. Also of note, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 7,100 jobs.

The Amarillo MSA posted the state’s lowest jobless rate for the month at 3.6 percent, followed by the Austin-Round Rock MSA at 3.8 percent and the Abilene, College Station-Bryan and Sherman-Denison MSAs all at 4.2 percent.

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission continued as the MSA with the highest unemployment rate in the state, followed by Beaumont at 8.8 percent, Brownsville-Harlingen and Odessa at 7.7 percent.