Oct 21, 11:33 AM EDT

Texas unemployment for September up slightly to 4.8 percent

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas unemployment rose slightly in September to 4.8 percent, the fourth straight month of higher jobless rates, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

Last month's figure compares to Texas unemployment of 4.7 percent during August. The nationwide jobless rate in September was 5 percent, according to a TWC statement.

The Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock areas tied for the lowest unemployment rates statewide in September at 3.5 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in Texas last month at 8 percent, commission officials said.

Texas grew by an estimated 38,300 nonfarm jobs in September and has added jobs in 17 of the last 18 months. Commission officials say the state has added 206,800 jobs over the year.

"This continued growth in a diverse range of industries creates valuable opportunities for our state's world-class workforce and builds on Texas' continued success as a global economic leader," said Chairman Andres Alcantar.

The leisure and hospitality industry recorded the largest industry employment gain over the month with 17,900 jobs added, the TWC statement said. Professional and business services employment grew by 6,000 jobs in September.

Construction employment across Texas expanded for the third consecutive month with the addition of 3,400 jobs, the agency said.




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