COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy gained 265,500 nonagricultural jobs from December 2011 to December 2012, an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent compared with 1.4 percent for the United States.

The Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy reports that the state’s nongovernment sector added 258,500 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent compared with 1.7 percent for the nation’s private sector.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in December from 7.4 percent the year before. The nation’s rate decreased from 8.5 to 7.8 percent.

All Texas industries except the information industry had more jobs last month than a year ago. The state’s construction industry ranked first in job creation, followed by the leisure and hospitality industry, professional and business services, and the education and health services industry.

All Texas metro areas except Sherman-Denison, Lubbock and Brownsville-Harlingen had more jobs. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos ranked first in job creation followed by Wichita Falls, Odessa, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown and Fort Worth-Arlington.

The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 6 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate, followed by Odessa, Amarillo and San Angelo.