State leaders like to brag about Texas' fast growing economy and low unemployment, but rarely do they mention the high poverty rate and so far they don't appear inclined to pass any new laws to deal with it. The unemployment rate and the creation of new jobs are the statistics most often cited by Gov. Rick Perry. While unemployment is among the lowest in the country at 6.2 percent. That's well below the national average of 7.7 percent. Employment, though, is not the only measure of economic prosperity. The number of Texans living in poverty rose for a third consecutive year in 2011, adding more than 214,000 people to total 4.6 million. That's 18.5 percent of the population, 3 percent higher than the nation as a whole, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Going into the legislative session that begins Jan. 8, to help the poor and unemployed, Perry has proposed requiring drug testing as a condition for some people to receive welfare benefits, to make sure they are employable.