Unemployment rates are down about .1% since last years rate of 5.3%. Over 200,000 new jobs were created last year and earnings are up 2.1%. Texas makes a lot of its money from the land. Texas is the number one producer of wool in our country and its also the top sheep growing area. Texass other agricultural business comes from cattle, cotton, dairy products, nursery stock, poultry, sorghum, corn, and wheat. Texas also makes money off of their vast petroleum and helium wells, and natural gas. Texas is also home to many large corporations such as Dell and Compaq Computers.
Education is an important priority in Texas. In 1999 Texas enacted a testing system called TAKS. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills measures the statewide curriculum in reading at Grades 3-9; in writing at Grades 4 and 7; in English Language Arts at Grades 10 and 11; in mathematics at Grades 3-11; in science at Grades 5,10, and 11; and social studies at Grades 8, 10, and 11. The Spanish TAKS is administered at Grades 3 through 6. Satisfactory performance on the TAKS at Grade 11 is prerequisite to a high school diploma. The graduation rate has risen from 72.1% in 1990 to 75.7% in 2000.