- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas unemployment rate has fallen to 5.2 percent, marking the second straight month it’s declined, state officials announced Friday.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment figure for April represents the lowest rate since September 2008 and is a drop from 5.5 percent in March, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The rate in January and February stood at 5.7 percent.

A year ago the state unemployment rate was 6.4 percent.

Commission officials said Texas employers in April added 64,100 jobs to their payrolls, with eight of the 11 leading industries in Texas experiencing growth. Private businesses added 20,100 jobs in April, the largest monthly increase ever recorded for this sector of the economy.

“Rising job numbers and falling unemployment rates continue to equal more opportunity for Texans,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a prepared statement. “Every job created represents someone working to build a better life for themselves and their families, whether that means being able to own a home, send a child to college, save for retirement or make other important investments in their future.”

Texas has added 348,000 jobs this year.

“We’re fortunate in Texas to see significant growth across several industries. Trade, transportation and utilities is one example of this encouraging trend, adding 16,300 positions in April - the most in the industry in over 20 years,” Workforce Commissioner Ronny Congleton said.

The Midland area had the lowest jobless rate across Texas, at 2.3 percent. Commission figures show the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest rate at 8.6 percent.

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