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Review of the Texas Economy

published on March 30, 2019

The state of Texas continues to outpace the United States in job growth and added 268,800 nonagricultural jobs from February 2018 to February 2019, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. This equaled a 2.2 percent growth rate, compared to 1.7 percent for the nation’s employment growth rate. Nongovernment jobs were added to a total of 256,000 in Texas, for an annual state job growth rate of 2.5 percent, compared to 1.9 percent nationally.

Unemployment in Texas in February 2019 was 3.8 percent, down from 4.1 percent in February 2018. The nation’s unemployment rate also decreased, from 4.1 percent to 3.8 percent.

The mining and logging sector experienced the strongest growth among Texas sectors, with an 8.41 percent change annually and 19,900 new jobs. The information industry was the only sector to experience a decrease in jobs, with a decline of 1.47 percent and 3,000 jobs. Government jobs in Texas ranked top for percentage of overall jobs, representing 15.47 percent of all jobs in Texas. Trade closely followed with 15.35 percent, with professional and business services at 13.86 percent and education and health services at 13.57 percent

All of the Texas metros experienced increases in jobs in February 2019 compared to February 2018. Midland was tops with a 6.6 percent increase in jobs, Odessa was second with a 4.7 percent increase, Dallas-Plano-Irving was third with 3.1 percent, College Station-Bryan was fourth with three percent, and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land was fifth with 2.4 percent. Austin-Round Rock came in at a 2.1 percent increase, just slightly lower than the 2.2 percent increase for the state as a whole.

In February 2019, the actual unemployment rate for Texas was 3.9 percent. Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo each came in under three percent, with 2.2, 2.7, and 2.9 percent unemployment, respectively. Austin-Round Rock and College Station-Bryan each came in at three percent.

Austin’s job growth rates were positive in the government sector and in all other industries except mining and construction.

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