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03/09/2012

Texas unemployment dips to 7.3 percent

Texas employers added 67,200 nonfarm payroll jobs in January and the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in January, down from 7.4 percent in December and down from 8.1 percent a year earlier. It's the state's lowest jobless rate since April 2009 and compares to the U.S. jobless rate of 8.3 percent. The Texas Workforce Commission said the state has added jobs 21 straight months when compared to the same month the previous year, and payroll jobs are up 258,200 in the past year. Private employers added 73,800 jobs in January, or 332,600 in the past year. TWC Chairman Tom Pauken noted that mining and logging, the category that includes oil and gas, added more than 38,000 jobs in the past year, including 5,700 in January, as crude oil prices have surged.

Nine of the 11 major industry groups added jobs in January, led by professional and business services, which added 18,100 jobs over the month and is up 69,500 jobs in the past year, or 5.3 percent, TWC said today. The report was released later than normal and coincided with the release of the U.S. jobless date for February, which showed the national unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.

-- Jim Fuquay

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ate for February, which showed the national unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.

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