Texas unemployment at highest level since 1987

The unemployment rate in Texas has jumped to 8.4 percent in July, the highest level since the state was reeling from an energy, real estate and banking crisis 24 years ago.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the jobless rate was up from 8.2 percent in June. The increase came despite a 10th consecutive month of job growth. The agency says the state added 29,300 jobs in July.

The unemployment rate matched the figure from July 1987.

Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says the state "continues to feel the effects of a stagnant national economy." The U.S. jobless rate is 9.1 percent.

The trade, transportation and utility sector added 15,300 jobs last month, but that was offset by a combined loss of 15,400 jobs in the government and construction sectors.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, the Texas governor, has pointed to Texas' strong record on job creation as one of his qualifications for the presidency. Perry has provided generous subsidies to lure companies to Texas from other states and has kept taxes and regulations low.

"Since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America," Perry said in announcing his candidacy Saturday. "Now think about that. We're home to less than 10 percent of the population in America, but 40 percent of all the new jobs were created in that state."

Democrats have suggested Perry does not deserve credit for the state's jobs boom, suggesting that it resulted from population growth and a rise in oil prices. They have also noted that Texas is tied with Mississippi for the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs of any state.

Perry became governor in December 2000.