AUSTIN – Texas’ seasonally adjusted employment rate dropped for a sixth consecutive month to 7.1 percent, according to a report released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. This is more than a full percentage point below the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.

“Texas’ unemployment rate has been at or below the national average for 62 consecutive months – over five years,” said The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy and former chairman of the Texas House Committee on Appropriations. “This trend illustrates what Texans, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans emigrating to Texas, already know: that the Texas model of low taxes and limited government simply works. We did far better than the rest of the country through the worst of the recession – and now we’re leading the way out.”

The numbers illustrate the strong job growth in Texas. The city of Midland had the lowest February unemployment rate in the state at 3.8 percent, while Odessa came in at 4.5 percent and Amarillo was third at 5.0 percent. Texas added 27,900 nonfarm jobs in February for a total of 273,900 jobs added since February 2011. Private employers added 15,100 jobs over the month, totaling 331,800 private sector jobs added over the year.

“For the 22nd straight month, Texas has shown positive annual job growth,” said Foundation President Brooke Rollins. “That’s extraordinary, especially in these tough national economic times – and it’s a testament to the direct connection between limited government, fiscal responsibility, and general prosperity. We’re committed to working with Texas officeholders and policymakers to keep it that way.”

Talmadge Heflin is director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Heflin served 11 terms in the Texas House and chaired the Appropriations Committee in 2003, leading the Legislature’s successful efforts to close a $10 billion budget deficit without a tax increase.

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

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