Texas employers added 9,500 jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the biggest gains coming from professional and business services followed by oil and gas exploration and production and construction, the Texas Workforce Commission has reported.

The state-wide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was five percent in March, up from 4.9 percent the previous month as more people entered the labour force, according to the commission. The comparable nationwide unemployment  rate was 4.5 percent in March.

The Houston area jobless rate was 5.7 percent in March, according to the Houston Chronicle. In February, the local unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

Employers in Houston added 30,900 jobs over the past 12 months, for a one percent gain. The biggest  job generators were government agencies which added 14,300 jobs, for a 3.5 percent year-over-year gain, and education/health services which added 11,400 positions, a three percent increase.

As for losers, the sector that cut the most local jobs over the past year was trade, transportation and utilities which sliced 6,200 jobs from payrolls, a one percent dip. Oil and gas exploration and production companies cut 4,400 jobs, a 4.8 percent decline from the number of positions one year ago.