Texas jobs fall, but unemployment rate steady at 6.4 percent
Texas experienced a rare interruption in its recent record of employment growth last month, as the state's employers trimmed 4,100 nonagricultural jobs from a month earlier. The state's jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, remained unchanged at 6.4 percent, however, as the civilian labor force also contracted slightly. Manufacturing lost 6,200 wage-and-salary positions and the services category that includes wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities lost 10,300 jobs. Categories that gained jobs in March included construction, finance and leisure/hospitality. For the past year, Texas employers have added 329,500 jobs, or 3.1 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission said. The state jobless rate a year earlier was 7 percent.
In Fort Worth-Arlington, the unadjusted jobless rate was 6.1 percent, compared to the state's unadjusted rate of 6.3 percent. Metropolitan area statistics are not seasonally adjusted, while state and national figures typically are. Employers in Fort Worth-Arlington, which includes Tarrant, Johnson, Wise and Parker counties, added 1,500 jobs in March and are up 23,700 jobs in the past year. In March 2012 the local jobless rate was 6.8 percent.
-- Jim Fuquay