AUSTIN – Today’s release of Texas’ January 2012 employment report demonstrates the importance of the Lone Star State’s policy framework of free markets and limited government, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“January’s jobs report serves as a reminder of the importance of the state’s free market, limited government approach,” said James Quintero, the Foundation’s fiscal policy analyst. “Restraining the growth of government keeps more money in the private sector, where large companies and individual entrepreneurs can create the innovations that support new jobs and a higher standard of living for Texans.”

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas’ nonfarm payroll rose by 67,200 jobs in January. This increase accounts for about a quarter of total nonfarm employment growth in the nation for the month of January. This month’s added job creation also means that Texas’ employment picture has improved for the last 21 consecutive months.

Texas has been a major force in the nation’s improving jobs picture. From January 2011 to January 2012, Texas contributed 258,200 net new jobs to the national total of slightly less than 2 million. Texas represented 60 percent of the national employment increase in Financial Activities and more than 40 percent of the increase in Mining and Logging.

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, a full percentage point lower than the national average, has now been at or below the national average for 61 consecutive months.

A March 5 column in The Daily Caller by The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy, outlined the policy stances and reforms that have propelled Texas into the role of America’s economic engine.

James Quintero is a fiscal policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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