The Texas economy continues to surpass the nation in employment growth rate and job creation, according to the Center’s latest “Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.”

Research Economist Ali Anari reports that Texas’ total nonfarm employment rose 2.3 percent from August 2005 to August 2006 compared with 1.3 percent for the United States. Laredo ranked first in the state in annual employment growth rate during the period, followed by McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Midland and Brownsville-Harlingen.

Texas’ construction industry ranked first in job creation followed by the natural resources and mining industry, professional and business services industry, and the financial activities industry. Construction recorded 40,900 new jobs, 12,700 in construction of buildings, 3,400 in heavy and civil engineering construction and 24,800 in specialty trade contractors.

Despite falling oil prices, the state’s natural resources and mining industry gained 10,000 jobs during the period. Active rotary rigs went from 624.4 in Sept. 2005 to 779 in Sept. 2006, according to Hughes Tool Co.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in August 2006, remaining slightly higher than the 4.7 percent U.S. rate.

“Texas’ unemployment rate reflects high employment in the border areas,” says Anari, “but it’s important to note that overall unemployment has been decreasing over the past two years.”

Midland had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, followed by Amarillo, Austin–Round Rock and College Station–Bryan.

For more information, see the full report at