AUSTIN (AP) – The unemployment rate in Texas has continued a steady decline to 8.1 percent in November.

Figures the Texas Workforce Commission released Friday show the rate as an improvement over October’s 8.4 percent and below the national jobless rate of 8.6 percent.

Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says Texas gained 22,700 private sector jobs in November and 289,900 over 12 months.

Nine of 11 major industries added jobs last month with leisure and hospitality out front with 5,600 new positions.

The financial activities industry expanded with 4,800 jobs while manufacturing increased by 3,900 new positions.

Commissioner Ronny Congleton says the growth in major industries encouraging.

The Brownsville-Harlingen area had the highest unemployment rate at 11.2 percent while the lowest, at 4.1 percent, was in the Midland area.

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