This is the first time unemployment has fallen below 4% since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
“The Texas economy is still proving that it’s one of the strongest economies in the nation,” TWC Executive Director Ed Serna said during a Jan. 20 press briefing.
National unemployment also declined in December, reaching a rate of 3.5%.
In the past year, over 650,000 jobs have been added to the Texas economy, according to a news release from the TWC. This includes 29,500 jobs added in December, bringing the state to 13,705,500 nonfarm jobs at the end of the year.
“Texas remains the best place to do business month after month thanks to the success and resilience of our Texas employers,” said Aaron Demerson, the TWC’s commissioner representing employers, in the release. “From lowering taxes for Texas employers to supporting programs that meet the needs of our businesses, [the] TWC is here to help support our economy’s ongoing growth.”All but three industries have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Labor Market Information Director Mariana Vega. The government, construction, and mining and logging industries have not yet reached or exceeded prepandemic employment.
The state’s lowest unemployment rates occurred in Amarillo and Midland, at 2.6% each. The Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area recorded 2.7% unemployment in December, followed by College Station-Bryan at 2.8%.
The TWC will release January’s labor market data on March 10. The labor information for February will be shared on March 24, according to Press Officer Angela Woellner.