FILE - Downtown Houston Texas flag

The U.S. flag and Texas state flag fly in downtown Houston.

Texas metropolitan areas, Dallas and Houston, led the nation in year-over-year job growth, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Among the 12 largest Metro Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the country, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked first, reporting an annual job growth rate of 3.5 percent, followed by Houston’s 3 percent, and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale’s 2.9 percent.

The nation’s job growth rate over the same time period was 1.5 percent.

New York-Newark-Jersey City MSA led the nation in adding the most jobs over the past year, followed by Dallas and Houston. The New York-Newark-Jersey City area added 145,600 jobs compared to Dallas’ 129,300 and Houston’s 93,600.

If combined, the two Texas cities created 77,300 more new jobs than the New York-New Jersey MSA.

In July, the Texas economy added 35,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs. The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4 percent matching the all-time record low set in June, its lowest since it was first tracked in 1976.

“It is remarkable and a testament to the strength of our industries that Texas continues to maintain a historic low unemployment rate of 3.4%,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Ruth R. Hughs. “Our economy remains strong as a result of the continuing growth of our Texas employers and our thriving industries.”

Texas employers added 323,300 jobs over the year. Total nonfarm annual employment growth was at 2.6 percent in July, holding above 2 percent since February 2018.

All 12 of the largest MSAs in the BLS analysis reported year-over-year job growth during the same time period.

The rates of job growth in seven MSAs equaled or exceeded the national increase of 1.5 percent, the BLS notes.

The MSAs reporting the slowest rates of job growth were Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (+1.2 percent), Boston-Cambridge-Nashua (+1.3 percent), and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (+1.3 percent).

Philadelphia reported the smallest employment gain over the year of 36,100 new jobs, followed by Boston’s 36,700 new jobs, and Washington’s 44,600 new jobs.

Annual job gains in the remaining six MSAs ranged from 87,800 in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim to 58,000 in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell.

Education and health service sectors added the most jobs in the MSAs of Boston, Los Angeles, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, New York, and Phoenix.

Professional business services added the most jobs in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward.

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin and Washington.

The information sector recorded the largest employment losses in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix. Trade, transportation, and utilities reported the most job losses in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington. Miami was the only one of the 12 MSAs that reported no annual employment losses in all of the sectors since July 2018.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA consists of two combined MSAs: Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division, which accounts for 72 percent of the area’s workforce, and Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Division, which accounts for the remaining 28 percent.

The largest gains were reported in the professional and business services sector, which added 27,400 jobs from May 2018 to May 2019.

The area's largest employment sectors of trade, transportation, and utilities added 19,300 jobs during the same time period.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington added 13,900 jobs in leisure and hospitality, 10,500 in education and health services, and 10,400 in financial services from May 2018 to May 2019.

In Houston, professional and business services added the largest number of jobs, 24,500, from July 2018 to July 2019. It also added 11,000 new manufacturing jobs, 9,900 new leisure and hospitality jobs, and 9,400 new construction jobs over the same time period.

“The fact that Texas private-sector employers added 316,600 jobs this year speaks for itself,” TWC Commissioner Bryan Daniel said. “More jobs mean more exciting, rewarding careers for Texans which strengthens our communities and our state.”