- Associated Press - Friday, August 19, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The unemployment rate in Texas rose slightly in July to 4.6 percent, continuing a recent trend, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The statewide jobless rate for June was 4.5 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from May. The nationwide rate is 4.9 percent.

“Texas employers continued to create jobs last month in a range of industries that are important to the Texas economy,” Andres Alcantar, the commission chairman, said.

The Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock areas tied for the state’s lowest jobless rate last month at 3.6 percent. Texas’ highest unemployment rate was in the Rio Grande Valley, where the rate was at 8.6 percent in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area in July and 7.7 percent in Brownsville-Harlingen that month.

The commission says Texas added 23,600 nonfarm jobs in July, bringing the estimated number of seasonally adjusted jobs over the past year to 173,000.

Among job sectors monitored by the agency, professional and business services jobs increased by 10,000 from June. Construction jobs were up by 7,800.

Mining and logging jobs, which includes oil field workers, declined by 700 from June but were down 39,400 from the same time a year ago - a nearly 15 percent drop. Manufacturing jobs declined by 2,400 in the most recent month and are down 33,200 from a year ago, a decline of 3.8 percent.

The largest year-to-year increase is in education and health services jobs, up 68,300 from July 2015 to total more than 1.65 million, a gain of 4.3 percent.

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