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

According to Research Economist Ali Anari, Texas total nonfarm employment rose 2.2 percent from September 2005 to September 2006 compared with 1.3 percent for the United States. Laredo ranked first among the state’s 26 metro areas in annual employment growth rate during the period at 5.5 percent, followed by McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr (5.2 percent), Midland (4.6 percent) and Sherman-Denison (3.6 percent).

Texas’ construction industry ranked first in job creation with 36,800 new jobs, followed by the natural resources and mining industry (10,800), professional and business services industry (47,600), and the financial activities industry (18,800).

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent in September 2006, just slightly higher than the 4.6 percent U.S. rate.

Midland had the lowest unemployment rate (3.3 percent) in the state in September 2006, followed by Amarillo (3.6 percent), College Station–Bryan (3.7 percent) and Austin–Round Rock (3.8 percent).

For more information, see the full report at