An elderly patient at the hospital

Health services led job growth in Texas in December 2022.

AUSTIN — Unemployment in Texas dropped in December, according to new data by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the first time in three months to 3.9% in December, logging the first month the rate fell below 4% since February 2020, it said.

“Each month of record employment in Texas creates more opportunities for success for our workforce and employers alike,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said in a statement.

Rates that are seasonally adjusted reflect seasonal trends, such as construction in the summer and holiday hiring in the winter, and are considered a more accurate reflection of unemployment than unadjusted numbers.

In December, Texas added 29,500 positions, reaching a total of 13.7 million nonfarm jobs in the Lone Star State. Over the year, Texas added more than 650,000 jobs, per the TWC.

December marked the 14th consecutive record employment high in Texas, after the state first surpassed the pre-COVID level in November 2021, TWC data shows.

Education and health services led job growth in December with 12,700 positions added, followed by financial activities, which grew by 6,300 jobs. Manufacturing employment added 5,500 jobs over the month, it said.

The Amarillo and Midland Metropolitan Statistical Areas recorded the lowest unemployment rates among Texas MSAs, with an unadjusted rate of 2.6% each in December, followed by Austin-Round Rock at 2.7%, data shows.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolitan statistical area reported the highest unemployment rate that was not seasonally adjusted at 6.8%, it said.

Texas has an unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.6%, while the United States is reporting a rate of 3.3%.

“Texas leads the nation in offering businesses the freedom to flourish and grow," Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “I am proud that we've again hit a new historic high for total jobs, putting even more Texans on the path to prosperity.”

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