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Texas leads U.S. in job growth in February

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(The Center Square) – Texas again led the U.S. in job growth in February and again broke its previous month’s record in three categories.

“The Texas labor market again achieved new record-high levels for jobs, Texans employed, and the civilian labor force following over-the-month increases in February,” The Texas Workforce Commission reported. Texas has reported job growth in 44 of 46 months.

Last month, Texas reached a new high, having the largest labor force in the state’s history of 15,169,200, breaking the previous month’s record.

Texas reached another new monthly high for the greatest number of Texans working, including the self-employed, of 14,578,700.

Texas also reached another new high for total jobs of 14,103,700 after adding 49,800 non-farm jobs last month, the greatest number of jobs added of any state in the U.S., according to TWC and U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It was also “the largest total nonfarm monthly job gain since January 2023,” the TWC said.

“Texas continues to dominate the nation in job creation because we’ve built a framework that allows free enterprise to flourish and hardworking Texans to succeed,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “That is why businesses are growing here, why jobs are growing here, and why the future is building here. The greatest measure of our success is that more Texans are working than ever before.”

Texas’ total nonfarm employment growth over the year of 2.1% far surpassed the national job growth rate of 0.3% over the same time period. Texas also led the nation in seasonally adjusted over-the-month and over-the-year increases in total nonfarm employment, TWC notes.

“The Texas workforce continues to show comprehensive growth, with jobs added across almost all major industries over the month,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said.

Ten of 11 major industries added jobs over the month in February, the TWC says. Professional and Business Services added the most of 11,900, followed by Private Education and Health Services’ 9,300. The construction industry added 7,800 jobs over the month, growing by 4% over the year, outpacing the national growth rate by 1.3%, it notes.

“Private sector employers continued to drive the historic growth of Texas’ labor market by adding more than 45,000 jobs over the month in February,” TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Joe Esparza said. “TWC programs like the Skills Development Fund and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit can help Texas’ private employers sustain this pattern of economic growth.”

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9% for the ninth consecutive month, dropping from February 2023’s rate of 4% and lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.2%.

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.9% last month, followed by the Amarillo’s at 3.4% and College Station-Bryan’s 3.5%.

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest unemployment rate of 6.2%, followed by Beaumont-Port Arthur’s 5.9% and Brownsville-Harlingen’s 5.8%.