Texas hits 24 year high in unemployment rate

As Gov. Rick Perry touts job creation and limited government on the campaign trail, the Texas’ unemployment rate hit a 1987 record in July and the Austin-area took the brunt of the state’s job losses in the public sector.

The Texas Workforce Commission said the jobless rate increased from 8.4 percent in July to 8.5 in August.

Having the state hit a 24-year high for unemployment rate could be coming at just the wrong time for Perry. Perry has long called Texas a national jobs-creation leader in a country besieged by unemployment. He traveled the country this week on a bus with “get America working again” painted on the side.

The latest unemployment numbers could weaken that message. The rate hasn’t been this high since the mid-1980s oil bust. And even though Texas has received numerous accolades for creating more jobs in recent years than any other state, 26 states had a lower unemployment rate in July.

The Texas rate is still lower than the country’s, which was 9.1 percent in August. But that gap is closing.

“If Gov. Perry takes the credit, he should take the blame,” said state Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston, who leads the House Democratic Caucus.

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