Texas' unemployment rate increases slightly in May, to 4.3 percent

Associated Press

Texas' unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.3 percent in May, after holding steady at 4.2 percent in March and April, a state agency reported Friday.

Despite the uptick in the state employment rate, it still beat the national May average of 5.5 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported.

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Texas gained 33,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in May, bringing the over-the-year total to 286,400 jobs added, a TWC statement said.

Amarillo had the state's lowest jobless rate in May, at 2.9 percent. Meanwhile, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest rate last month, at 7.2 percent.

"Texas employers continue to provide job growth and this is great news for our state," Commissioner Hope Andrade said. "Texas has so much to offer for veterans, job seekers and businesses that choose to locate here."

May's job gains came from employers in the state's service providing industries, the commission said. The leisure and hospitality industry added 16,000 jobs. The education and health services industry showed the next largest increase with 12,500 positions added.

"The Texas civilian labor force now stands at more than 13 million workers and each of them have talents and abilities to contribute to our great state," Commissioner Ronny Congleton said.