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Texas unemployment rate falls to 5.4% in October

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The Texas unemployment rate continued its downward trend in October, falling by 0.2 percentage points from a month earlier to 5.4%. The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday, the state added 56,600 nonagricultural jobs last month, marking gains in 17 of the last 18 months.

"The sustained job growth we are seeing shows that Texas continues to be THE place for business," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson in a statement.

The unemployment rate in Texas has fallen for six consecutive months and come a long way from the pandemic-driven peak of 12.9% set in April 2020, but it still remains higher than the national jobless rate, which dropped to 4.6% in October.

Among the state’s largest metropolitan statistical areas, Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock once again maintained the lowest unemployment rates — at or just below 3.4%. The highest jobless rates remained in the Beaumont-Port Arthur and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, employment in Texas will likely get back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022.

Copyright 2021 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Joseph Leahy anchors morning newscasts for NPR's statewide public radio collaborative, The Texas Newsroom. He began his career in broadcast journalism as a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio in 2011. The following year, he helped launch Delaware's first NPR station, WDDE, as an afternoon newscaster and host. Leahy returned to St. Louis in 2013 to anchor local newscasts during All Things Considered and produce news on local and regional issues. In 2016, he took on a similar role as the local Morning Edition newscaster at KUT in Austin, before moving over to the Texas Newsroom.