The December unemployment rate for the San Antonio-New Braunfels region improved to 5.3 percent, the lowest in nearly six years.

Nearly 3,000 jobs were added to the workforce, with the most significant gains in retail and hospitality.

"Should these preliminary estimates hold, our unemployment rate will have averaged to 6.1 percent for 2013," said Patrick Newman, executive director of Workforce Solutions Alamo.

For the year, the region added 6200 jobs with the leisure and hospitality industry accounting for half of that.

The manufacturing industry experienced job losses last year, down nearly 1,700 jobs. The professional and business services sector also lost 1100 jobs last year.

The state's unemployment rate for December was 5.6 percent, compared to the nation's rate of 6.5 percent. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

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