The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that the state unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent in December. That's its highest level in 10 months and a sign of slowing in the regional economy.
The monthly jobless report shows the number of job hunters swamped a modest increase in hiring in Texas, pushing unemployment up from 4.2 percent in November.
Still, the December jobless rate remained low by historical standards. Unemployment in Texas dipped to 4.1 percent at times last year. That's a 31-year low.
The national unemployment rate in December was 5 percent. That's a two-year high.
The Workforce Commission said seasonally adjusted non-farm employment in Texas grew by 18,600 jobs in December. That was an improvement from weak November numbers.
Midland, helped by the boom in oil and gas exploration and production, continued to have the lowest unemployment in the state at 2.7 percent, unchanged in several months.
The highest unemployment was in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area, where it jumped to 6.6 percent from a November rate of 5.9 percent.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits in Texas fell 4.3 percent.
The following are the preliminary December jobless rates for local areas in Texas, with revised November figures in parentheses. The figures are not seasonally adjusted. The statewide unadjusted jobless rate was 4.3 percent in December, up from 4.1 percent in November.
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