- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas’ unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent in February for the second straight month, reflecting the state’s lowest jobless figure since November 2008, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The commission reported the seasonally adjusted rate for February was down from 6.5 percent for the same month last year.

Nationwide, the jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent in February.

TWC officials say Texas employers added 37,600 jobs last month. They say the state added 314,200 jobs from February 2013 to February of this year.

“Job growth of this magnitude is about much more than just attractive statistics on a printed page,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. “It means more choices and better options for Texas job-seekers, stronger families and communities, and brighter futures for our children.”

Eight out of 11 leading industries expanded in February, the commission said. Industries in the private sector added 31,000 jobs for the month for a total of 278,000 added over the year and a 3.0 percent growth rate.

TWC Commissioner Ronny Congleton said the mining and logging sector kept showing the highest rate of expansion of any major industry in Texas, with a growth rate of 5.5 percent over the last year.

The Midland area had the state’s lowest jobless rate in February at 3.0 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in Texas at 10.3 percent.

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