Texas Jobless Rate Rises Again

Texas – The state's employment agency says the jobless rate in Texas has increased for the second straight month despite continued improvement in the number of jobs.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the unemployment rate for December was 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in November. The agency said the state also had its fourth consecutive month of job growth, adding 20,000 positions.

The state's jobless rate remains below the national rate of 9.4 percent, and Texas job growth is outpacing the U.S. as well. Commission figures indicate Texas has added 230,800 jobs since December 2009 and has an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent compared to 0.9 percent nationally.

The strongest growth was in construction, which added 8,700 jobs in December.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.