Earlier today, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) released the latest batch of employment statistics for January 2012 and there’s a lot of good news to report.

According to the TWC, Texas’ labor market added 67,200 jobs in January, accounting for about a quarter of all net new jobs in the U.S. for the month. Year-over-year, Texas’ economy added 258,200 net new jobs making it one of the largest contributors, if the not the single largest contributor, to the nation’s improving employment picture.

Further, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in January, down from 7.4 percent in December, and down from 8.1 percent a year ago. Texas’ unemployment rate for January, a full percentage point lower than the national average, has now tracked at or below the national average for 61 consecutive months.

If nothing else, this new jobs report should serve as a reminder that free markets and limited government policies work, and they work well. By restraining the growth of government and letting the private sector choose how to spend and invest their money, the state has created an environment where both large companies and individual entrepreneurs alike can create the innovations that support new jobs and a thriving economy.

-James Quintero