Friday, August 19, 2011

Texas Unemployment Rate Hits Its Highest Mark Since 1987

As Gov. Rick Perry touts job creation and limited government on the campaign trail, the Texas’ unemployment rate tied a 1987 record in July and the Austin-area took the brunt of the state’s job losses in the public sector, according to the Texas Workforce Commission's latest workforce statistics report.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday termed the employment results “mixed” because the state added 29,300 jobs but the seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased from 8.2 percent in June to 8.4 percent last month.

Having the state tie a 24-year high for unemployment rate could be coming at just the wrong time for Perry. Perry has long called Texas a national jobs-creation leader in a country besieged by unemployment. He traveled through Iowa this week on a bus with “get America working again” painted on the side.

The latest unemployment numbers could weaken that message. The rate hasn’t been this high since the mid-1980s oil bust. And even though Texas has received numerous accolades for creating more jobs in recent years than any other state, 26 states had a lower unemployment rate in July.

The Texas rate is still lower than the country’s, which was 9.1 percent in July. But that gap is closing.

Texas vs US comparison
Sources: St. Louis Fed (U.S. jobs/U.S. unemployed).
Texas Workforce Commission (employed and unemployed)
graph from

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