Business/Economy
3:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Texas Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.7 Percent, A Five-Year Low

The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 5.7 percent in January and became the state's lowest jobless figure since November 2008.
 
The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported the seasonally adjusted rate for January is the sixth straight month of declines in statewide unemployment.

The nationwide jobless rate stood at 6.6 percent in January.
 

TWC officials say Texas employers expanded their payrolls in January by adding 33,900 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs, for a total of 322,400 jobs added over the year.
 
The Midland area had the state's lowest jobless rate in January at 2.9 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in Texas at 10.5 percent.
 

NPR reports on the nationwide rate:

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the month before, but employers added more jobs than expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

According to BLS, the number of jobs on public and private payrolls grew by 175,000 last month — about 25,000 more than economists had expected.

That employment figure, not the jobless rate, is typically what economists focus more attention on after each month's data are released. They had been expecting to hear that 150,000 or fewer jobs were added in February. The fact that the number was higher "could ease fears of an abrupt slowdown in economic growth," Reuters writes.