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Texas leads U.S. in job growth again, smashes own job records

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(The Center Square) – Texas led the U.S. in job growth again in December. It also smashed three of its own job records that it broke consecutively in previous months.

Texas not only outpaced the nation in annual job growth last month, but also set new historic highs for having the greatest number of total jobs on record, the greatest number of Texans working, and largest labor force in state history.

December marked 34 months of uninterrupted job growth in the Lone Star State.

“Texas continues to grow jobs faster than the nation and smash record highs month after month,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “As a result, more Texans are working than ever before. Texas stands as a model for the nation, offering the freedom and tools for both job creators and job seekers to thrive. With our young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce and strategic, ongoing investments in infrastructure, education, and workforce development, we will attract even more innovative industry leaders to our great state. As the new year begins, we celebrate record-setting employment and the endless opportunities ahead for a bigger, better Texas.”

The Texas Workforce Commission said that the state’s labor market “reached historic highs in 2023, breaking records in employment growth and civilian labor force.”

Last month, Texas’ seasonally adjusted job count reached 14,103,300, an increase of 19,100 non-farm jobs over the month, marking 27 consecutive months of new series employment highs, the TWC said.

Texas also reported the greatest number of Texans working last month, including the self-employed, of 14,594,900.

Texas also reached a new historic high, breaking its record from the previous month, reporting the largest labor force in state history with 15,203,900. The TWC notes this represents a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, which grew over the month by 11,100 people. December also marked a 12th consecutive monthly increase, including an additional 18,400 Texans employed, it said.

Texas again added jobs at a faster rate than the nation over the last 12 months, adding 369,600 jobs from December 2022 to December 2023. Texas’ annual job growth rate was 2.7%, one percentage point above the national job growth rate of 1.7%.

“Texas’ record-breaking employment growth remains a clear sign of the state’s economic strength,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “We finished 2023 with thousands more jobs in the state than at any other time in history.”

Statewide, seven of 11 major industries in Texas achieved series highs last month. Among them, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, Private Education, Health Services and Leisure and Hospitality, added the most jobs.

Texas’ unemployment rate also dropped. For years it was at or above 4%. Its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 4.1% in November to 4% in December.

Its non-seasonally adjusted rate of 3.5% was the same as the national non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area reported the lowest unemployment rate last month of 2.1%, followed by Amarillo’s 2.5%, and College Station-Bryan’s 2.6%.

Every month, Beaumont-Port Arthur, McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission, and Brownsville-Harlingen have historically reported the highest unemployment rates in the state, sometimes more than double the national rate. While still higher than the state and national rates, their unemployment rates were lower last month of 5.2%, 5.8%, and 4.8%, respectively.

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