Valley jobless rates hold steady at 5-6 percent

HARLINGEN — The Brownsville-Harlingen jobless rate held steady for October at a low 5.2 percent, the same as the previous month.

In the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area, the jobless rate dropped from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent for October. The unemployment rate in both Valley areas was basically unchanged from a year ago.

Statewide the jobless rate held steady at 3.4 percent in October, marking the fifth straight month of record low unemployment which began in June. It continues the state’s lowest unemployment rate since tracking these numbers began in 1976.

“This is yet another historic moment for Texas. For the past five months, our unemployment rate has remained at a record low,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Bryan Daniel.

In the past year, Texas employers have added 297,100 jobs. Total nonfarm annual employment growth was at 2.4 percent in October and has held at or above 2.0 percent since February 2018.

The leading job growth category in October was Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry, which added 9,700 jobs, followed by Professional and Business Services with 6,300 jobs and Education and Health Services which added 5,300 jobs.

The Midland MSA continued setting the standard for the state with the lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA at 2.4 percent. The Austin-Round Rock, College Station-Bryan and Lubbock MSAs each recorded the third-lowest rate of 2.6 percent.

In South Texas, San Antonio’s jobless rate dropped from 3.0 percent to 2.9 percent in October, and Corpus Christi’s rate dropped from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent for the past month.

Texas jobless rates

Oct. 2019 Sept. 2019 Oct. 2018

Brownsville-Harlingen 5.2 percent 5.2 percent 5.3 percent

McAllen-Edin-Mission 5.6 percent 5.8 percent 5.5 percent

San Antonio-New Brn 2.9 percent 3.0 percent 3.1 percent

Corpus Christi 3.9 percent 4.1 percent 4.3 percent

Source: Non-seasonally adjusted rates from Texas Workforce Commission