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Texas Jobless Rate Holds At 6.9 Percent

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas jobless rate is holding steady at 6.9 percent despite losses in nearly half of the state’s major hiring sectors in May, according to state unemployment data released Friday.

The Texas Workforce Commission showed the state adding 12,500 nonfarm jobs in May. That is slightly down from April, but enough to keep the Texas unemployment rate below 7 percent for two months in a row for the first time since spring 2009.

The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.

“It is good to see Texas’ private employers continuing to add to their payrolls,” said Tom Pauken, the agency’s commissioner representing employers.

Agency figures show that while five of the 11 major industries in Texas lost jobs in May, strong gains in the professional services (8,500 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (6,900 jobs) sectors kept the unemployment rate from slipping. Government shed the most jobs last month, losing 2,800 workers.

Unemployment rates are adjusted for seasonal trends in hiring and firing, which most economists believe give a more accurate picture of the job market. Without the seasonal adjustment, the jobless rate in Texas rose to 6.9 percent in May from 6.5 percent in April.

Midland’s unemployment rate of 3.8 percent remains the lowest in the state. The highest is in the McAllen area, where the jobless rate now stands at 10.8 percent.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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