AUSTIN — Employers added 36,600 total nonfarm jobs in October in Texas for a total of 277,400 jobs added over the year. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in October from 6.8 percent in September. The unemployment rate in Texas remains well below the national rate of 7.9 percent.

“Private sector employers in Texas continue to drive our state’s economic growth, having added 269,000 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 3.0 percent,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “The Texas economy continues to show strength compared to the national private sector, which has experienced an annual growth rate of 1.8 percent.”

Over the last year, 10 of 11 major industries in Texas have shown positive growth. Six of the major industries displayed monthly gains in October. Education and Health Services grew more than any other industry over the month, adding 13,700 jobs for the largest monthly gain in the series’ history. Over the year, this industry added more than 43,000 jobs and is one of four industries in Texas showing an annual growth rate of 3.0 percent or higher.

“It’s good to see the state’s unemployment rate drop by half a point over just the last two months,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “I encourage those looking for work to visit their local Workforce Solutions Office to help them seize the opportunities offered by Texas’ diverse economy.”

Leisure and Hospitality employment expanded by 8,700 positions in October. Overall, this industry has added 51,800 jobs over the past year, more than any other industry.

“I’m encouraged that Construction employment surged in October with the addition of 13,600 jobs, the largest monthly gain in recorded history in Texas,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Tom Pauken. “The Construction industry’s 8.4 percent annual growth rate is further evidence that Texas continues to be a great place to build your business.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest October unemployment rate in the state at 3.3 percent. The Odessa MSA came in second at 3.9 percent, and the Amarillo MSA third at 4.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

Audio downloads from TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar on the latest labor market data are available at the following link: