The unemployment rate in Texas fell to 5.2 percent in April, the lowest it’s been since September 2008. The Killeen-area unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.
Texas employers added 64,100 jobs in April for a total of 348,000 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs added this year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Texas’ unemployment rate was down from 5.5 percent in March and down from 6.4 percent a year ago.
“April was a robust month for Texas job growth. The unemployment rate continues to fall and we posted the highest monthly job growth in well over three years,” commission chairman Andres Alcantar said. “With all 11 major industries adding jobs over the year, I encourage job seekers to visit Workforce Solutions offices around the state and seize the opportunities created by Texas employers.”
In the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan statistical area, 300 jobs were added in health and education services, and 200 more people found work in mining, logging and construction. The information industry had the largest decline in jobs, with 200 fewer positions. Despite a decrease in work opportunities in information, 600 more people returned to work locally in April.
“These numbers show a steady increase, which is positive because employers are feeling confident about the state of the economy because they are hiring,” said Kimberly Patterson, business services manager at Workforce Solutions of Central Texas.
Patterson said the local unemployment rate dropped from 6.1 percent in March to 5.5 percent in April, meaning 1,100 people are back to work in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood area.
During April, eight of the 11 major industries in the state experienced positive growth. Employment in professional and business services grew by 20,100 positions, the largest monthly increase ever recorded for this industry, the commission stated.
Education and health services grew by 8,100 positions in April. The mining and logging industry added 7,600 jobs and continued to post the highest annual growth rate of all major industries in Texas at 7.5 percent. Construction added 7,500 positions in April, the strongest monthly increase for the industry since July 2011.
The Midland area had the lowest jobless rate across Texas at 2.3 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest rate at 8.6 percent.