AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent in December, the lowest figure in 2 1/2 years.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the jobless rate was down from 8.1 percent in November as the state added more than 20,000 non-farm jobs. Another 10,100 positions were added by private employers.

The commission says the December rate was the state’s lowest since July 2009.

Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says Texas continues to see signs of improvement in the labor market.

The national unemployment rate is 8.5 percent.

Government added 10,100 jobs, while the big gainer among private sectors was leisure and hospitality with an increase of 4,100 jobs.

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