Texas adds 13,700 jobs in October

Construction and natural resources was the fastest growing industry in Austin between September 2016 and September 2017.

Construction and natural resources was the fastest growing industry in Austin between September 2016 and September 2017.

Texas’s economy added an estimated 13,700 nonfarm jobs in October, indicating a less than 1 percent increase from September, according to the latest Texas Workforce Commission report. Nonfarm jobs increased by 207,500 statewide, or 1.7 percent year-on-year, since October 2015.

Texas’s unemployment rate decreased slightly from 4.8 percent in September to 4.7 percent in October. By comparison, the national unemployment rate dropped from 5 percent in September to 4.9 percent in October.

In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area, labor force estimates showed a decrease in the unemployment rate from 5.7 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October, but with 21,800 fewer people joining the workforce in that time, according to the report.

TWC spokesperson Lisa Givens said the unemployment rate and the number of jobs added are generated from two separate surveys. As a result, she said the numbers can appear different without contradicting each other.

“If the civilian labor force of [an] area grows faster than the number of employed persons in that given area, then the unemployment rate will go up because so many people are entering the workforce marketplace that there aren’t enough jobs for all of them,” she said.

Similar to the trend in the Greater Houston area, Sugar Land’s labor force dropped by 226 people from September to October while unemployment also decreased by 0.4 percent. In Missouri City, the labor force dropped by 295 people from September to October and unemployment saw a 0.8 percent decrease, according to the TWC.

The agency recorded the largest statewide employment gains in the trade, transportation and utilities industries, with 8,200, or 0.3 percent more people in October than September.