SAN ANTONIO – As the state and region continued to add people to the payrolls, the September unemployment rate for the San Antonio metro area dropped to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent the month before and 6 percent from one year ago.
The state added a record 413,700 jobs in the past 12 months, the largest-ever one year gain.
In September the state economy added 36,400 jobs, with the biggest strides in oil and gas, tourism and construction.
Construction alone added 5,400 jobs last month.
"We can definitely tell," said Chris C.B. Christians, with Lynwood Building Materials, Inc.
At the family business on West Laurel, forklifts are now on the move, a welcome site after a rough ride through the recession.
"We had a lot of free time," Christians said. "There was nothing going on. It was hard, really hard. We had to lay off people, and just hang out and wait for it to get better."
It got better.
Now drywall is in demand, as are other commercial building materials, because construction is continuing its comeback.
"It's crazy," said Ernest Campos, who does commercial finishing work. "It's keeping me busy. When I finish a job, they're ready for me to start another."
With the construction industry strengthening, Christians said they now face a different dilemma: finding enough skilled people to fill all of the jobs.
"We're not quite where we were before the recession," he said, "But we're getting there."