Texas experienced a net job loss of 1,300 this month, causing the August unemployment rate to tick up to 8.5 percent from 8.4 percent in July. A year ago, Texas’ unemployment rate was 8.2 percent.
Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken blamed a “stagnant national economy” for the job losses, but most of the cuts were in local government. About 11,500 positions were eliminated at municipalities and counties in August. The state government added 1,700 jobs and the federal government increased its workforce in Texas by 400.
Meanwhile, Texas’ private sector added 8,100 jobs last month.
In the Austin-area, 5,600 jobs were created last month, prompting the city’s unemployment rate to improve to 7.3 percent. Most of the jobs were created in the Professional and Business Services sector, a federal category that includes everything from accountants to people who service septic tanks.
August marks the first month since September 2010 that Texas reported a net loss in jobs, the Houston Chronicle reported.