By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, RECON Magazine

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Texas added more than 41,000 “mining and logging” jobs during the year ending in December. Most of these were in the resurgent oil patch.

“The average number of active rotary rigs increased from 719.8 in December 2010 to 873.4 in December 2011,” said Dr. Ali Anari, author of the Monthly Review of the Texas Economy published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

The state’s mining and logging sector posted an 18.8 percent job gain for the year, easily outpacing all other job categories. Professional and business services and leisure and hospitality were second with 4.1 percent more jobs.

Laredo ranked first in job creation followed by Corpus Christi, Victoria, Lubbock, Midland and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown.

It was not a good year for Texas’ construction, government or information industries.

The state’s construction industry lost 6,500 jobs. Job gains in the construction of buildings sector and in heavy and civil engineering construction were more than offset by the loss of 8,600 specialty trade contractor jobs.

The government sector lost 56,100 jobs, an annual decline rate of 3 percent. Government job losses included 2,500 among Texas-based federal workers; 42,100 in local governments and 11,500 at the state level.

Texas’ information industry (Internet service providers, web search portals, publishing industries, broadcasting and telecommunications) lost 7,800 jobs, a 4 percent rate decrease.

“The state economy gained 205,100 nonagricultural jobs December to December,” said Anari. “That’s an annual growth rate of 2 percent. By comparison, the United States grew 1.3 percent during that time.”

Texas’ nongovernment sector added 261,200 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3 percent. The nation’s private sector grew 1.8 percent.