COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas lost fewer nonfarm jobs in July than in June, suggesting that the state’s economic downturn has reached a turning point.

According to the latest economic review from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the Texas economy lost 219,200 nonfarm jobs from July 2008 to July 2009, an annual job loss of 2.1 percent. This was an improvement on the 2.4 percent loss from June 2008 to June 2009.

The U.S. economy lost 4.2 percent of its total nonfarm jobs from July 2008 to July 2009, the same rate as from June 2008 to June 2009, indicating a trend toward stabilization of the national economy. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.9 percent in July 2008 to 7.9 percent in July 2009, while the U.S. rate rose from 5.8 percent to 9.4 percent during the same period.

Only three Texas industries (education and health services, leisure and hospitality, other services industry) and the government sector had more jobs in July 2009 than in July 2008. Nine industries experienced net job losses over the same period, said Dr. Ali Anari, research economist with the Center.

Four Texas metro areas experienced positive employment growth rates from July 2008 to July 2009, while 22 metros had net job losses. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission ranked first in job creation, followed by El Paso, Laredo and Odessa.

The state’s actual unemployment rate in July 2009 was 8.2 percent. Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate, followed by Lubbock, Midland, Abilene and College Station.