Texas Job Growth Twice as Nice

By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, Real Estate Center Release No. 17-0511 COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) —

Texas’ economy is not only outperforming the United States, but the state’s nonfarm employment is growing twice as fast.

Texas gained 254,000 jobs during the 12 months ending April 30, an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent, according to the latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy produced by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. During that same period, U.S. nonfarm employment rose 1.1 percent.

The state’s private sector employment growth also was higher than the nation as a whole, 3 percent compared with 1.7 percent.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment dipped to 8 percent in April, from 8.2 percent from the same time last year. Meanwhile, national unemployment fell from 9.8 percent to 9 percent.

“All Texas industries except the information industry had more jobs in April 2011 than a year earlier,” said Center Research Economist Dr. Ali Anari, coauthor of the monthly report.

Mining and logging ranked first in job creation during the period with 31,800 additions, an annual growth rate of 15.9 percent. Jobs got a boost as the average number of active rotary rigs increased from 668.7 to 848.1, according to Hughes Tool Co.

The 24,500 new construction jobs (a 4.3 percent increase) ranked that industry second. Gains came in building construction (200 jobs), heavy and civil engineering construction (10,700) and specialty trade contractors (13,600).

Texas’ professional and business services sector added 54,200 jobs, an annual growth rate of 4.3 percent. This included 46,900 jobs in administrative and support services and 7,300 in professional, scientific and technical services.

The state’s education and health services industry added 49,600 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.6 percent. Health services accounted for 50,100 while education lost 500.

The state’s leisure and hospitality industry gained 30,400 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3 percent.

For the April-to-April reporting period, the trade sector added 41,100 jobs, up 2.5 percent. Jobs in this industry included 15,900 in wholesale and 25,200 in retail. Trade is the state’s largest industry after government.

Other services (repair and maintenance; personal and laundry services; and religious, civic and professional organizations) gained 9.100 jobs, a 2.5 percent annual growth rate. Transportation, warehousing and utilities gained 9,200 jobs, a 2.2 percent growth rate.

All Texas metropolitan areas except Abilene had more jobs in April 2011 than they did in April 2010. Petroplex Odessa ranked first in job creation (up 4.5 percent) followed by petroplex Midland (up 4 percent) then Dallas-Plano-Irving (up 3.1 percent), Beaumont-Port Arthur (up 3.1 percent) and Amarillo (up 3 percent). The statewide average was 2.5 percent.

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