The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the statewide unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in August.
The commission cites a sharp decline in people counted as no longer looking for work. The jobless rate had been 4.4 percent in July.
The commission says seasonally adjusted non-farm employment rose by 10,400 jobs, but total civilian employment fell 23,700 from July. Civilians counted as unemployed fell even more -- by 7 percent, to 476,700.
Midland had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.8 percent, with Odessa and Amarillo next at 3.3 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest rate at 6.1 percent.
Commission officials say companies are adding workers in many industries, especially services. The biggest increase was in government jobs at 6,800. The leisure and hospitality industry added 3,500 jobs. Natural resources and mining, which includes the oil and gas industry, added 1,600 positions, as did education and health services.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 5.3 percent from July, to almost 56,000 in August.
The following are the preliminary August unemployment rates for local areas in Texas, with revised July figures in parentheses. The figures are not seasonally adjusted.
The statewide unadjusted jobless rate was 4.1 percent in August.
Abilene 3.5 (4.1)
Amarillo 3.3 (3.7)
Austin-Round Rock 3.5 (4.0)
Beaumont-Port Arthur 5.3 (5.9)
Brownsville-Harlingen 5.6 (6.6)
College Station-Bryan 3.7 (4.3)
Corpus Christi 4. (4.9)
Dallas-Plano-Irving 4.0 (4.6)
El Paso 5.5 (6.4)
Fort Worth-Arlington 4.0 (4.6)
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 4.1 (4.6)
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 4.5 (5.2)
Laredo 4.4 (5.3)
Longview 3.9 (4.7)
Lubbock 3.5 (4.2)
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 6.1 (7.2)
Midland 2.8 (3.2)
Odessa 3.3 (3.8)
San Angelo 3.5 (4.1)
San Antonio 4.0 (4.6)
Sherman-Denison 4.5 (5.0)
Texarkana 4.5 (5.2)
Tyler 4.0 (4.6)
Victoria 3.6 (4.1)
Waco 4.2 (5.0)
Wichita Falls 3.9 (4.5)
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