NBC: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s efforts to tout his record on jobs and the economy as a centerpiece of his presidential campaign took a hit today with new figures from one of his own state agencies: They show the Texas unemployment rate increased to 8.5% in August – the highest level in more than 24 years and more than twice the rate when Perry took office in December 2000.
The new unemployment rate for Texas is still below the national average of 9.1%. But the new figures from the Texas Workforce Commission included some disturbing trends: There was a net jobs loss of 1,300 in Texas during the month of August, even worse than than the latest national figures showing zero job growth.
While the private sector did add 8,100 jobs in Texas during August, this was more than offset by a shrinking public sector resulting in the loss of 9,400 government jobs, state figures show.
…. Mark Lavergne, a spokesman for the Texas Workforce Commission, confirmed that the new unemployment rate of 8.5% is the highest unemployment rate for Texas since July, 1987. When Perry took office in December 2000 after George W. Bush resigned, the unemployment rate in Texas was 4.2%
At this week’s GOP presidential rate, Perry touted his record of “creating more than one million jobs” in Texas, but made no mention of the recent downward trends in the state’s economy.