Texas employers added 51,300 jobs in January, notching the biggest seasonally adjusted monthly job gain in more than two years, the Texas Workforce Commission.
That meant 225,300 new jobs over the year.
"Texas employers and our talented workforce started 2017 on a high note," Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said in a statement.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.8 percent. Dallas-Fort Worth's not seasonally adjusted rate rose to 4 percent from 3.9 percent a year ago.
While the first half of 2016 was marked by slowing in Texas' previously churning job engine — the result of a trickle-down from the recent oil bust — the second half of last year saw a turnaround.
Economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predicted that this year, Texas would leave behind its energy slump and, as one wrote, "shift into second gear."
And so far, they've been right: At the beginning of 2017, Texas private sector employers picked up hiring, adding 45,900 jobs.
The professional and business services sector added the most jobs, posting a gain of 14,000, while trade, transportation and utilities employers added 8,100 jobs.
That falls in line with trends in the state's biggest metro areas, especially D-FW, where economists say major employers in a diverse range of high-paying industries are giving the whole state's growth numbers a jolt.
Although the goods-producing sectors have struggled to keep up with service employers, in January all three categories — including mining and logging or energy production, construction and manufacturing — grew almost 1 percent.
All the new service jobs have also increased demand for homes, which means the number of construction jobs is growing — though in North Texas, that's actually led to a building labor shortage.
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