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Unemployment Slightly Up In Texas, But Still Lower Than A Year Ago

Eileen Pace

Unemployment figures released Friday had bad news and good news for Texas. 

The good news is that over the past year, unemployment in the state has declined almost a full percentage point and remains below the national rate of 7.9 percent for January.

The bad news is that unemployment rose slightly in Texas for the month of January to 6.3 percent; prior to January, the jobless rate had been declining for six months.

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said the national employment report provides evidence that the economy is continuing to recover. BLS said private sector jobs have been added every month for three straight years.

In Texas, new opportunities continue to arise: The Texas Workforce Commission points to trade, transportation and utilities’ growth of nearly 64,000 jobs over the past year, the oil and gas industries added 19,700 jobs, and the state's construction industry grew by 28,500 jobs.

Texas private industries added 15,400 jobs in January, and showed a growth rate over the past year of 3.4 percent.

San Antonio's unemployment for January was 6.6 percent, which was also slightly up from the previous month, but still maintains a lower unemployment rate than January of last year.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.