A new report by the Wells Fargo Economics Group found that Texas added 64,100 new jobs in April, the largest gain in the nation. The boost in job numbers helped push unemployment down to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in March. Nationwide, unemployment was 6.3 percent for the month of April.
The group noted that a decline in the labor force also contributed to the drop in unemployment.
The energy sector remains an important factor in the job market, with mining and logging jobs jumping an impressive 7,600 jobs. The industry’s employment year-over-year is 7.5 percent higher.
Growth in the industry helped assuage fears of moderating gains in the oil and gas industry. Construction jobs also posted impressive gains, adding 7,500 workers in the month.
However, professional and business services remained at the top of the list, posting 20,100 workers in April. A few industries saw declines, including government and information systems.
The Wells Fargo report mirrors a recent release from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which found that year-to-date, the Lone Star State has added 124,000 jobs in 2014, an annualized growth rate of 3.32 percent. The Fed reported that 52,600 jobs were created, slightly less than the Wells Fargo analysis.
The Dallas Fed also found impressive gains in the transportation and utility industries, as well as professional and business services.