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Texas unemployment rate for August ticks up in first monthly rise this year

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly last month, representing the first increase in the rate this year, state officials said Friday.

The Texas Workforce Commission announced the state unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, up from the 5.1 percent recorded in July. The national unemployment rate stands is 6.1 percent.

Major industries across the board in Texas continued to show growth, with the workforce commission saying the state added 20,100 jobs last month. Commission spokeswoman Lisa Givens said total job growth and unemployment rates are surveyed separately and sometimes show different results.

Professional and business services jobs grew by 8,700, with smaller numbers added in education and health service industries, as well as manufacturing, mining and logging.

Unemployment remains the lowest in parts of West Texas where oil production is booming.

The Midland area had the lowest unemployment rate in Texas last month at 2.8 percent. The jobless rate for neighboring Odessa was 3.4 percent.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area in the Rio Grande Valley had the highest statewide unemployment at 9.8 percent, according to TWC figures. Nearby Brownsville and Harlingen had an 8.9 percent rate.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area posted a 5.5 percent unemployment rate, slightly higher than the 5.4 percent posted in Houston-Sugar Land.

"I commend Texas employers for continuing to grow their investments in the Lone Star State," workforce commissioner Hope Andrade said in a statement.

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