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Texas Economy Expands But More Slowly

published on September 30, 2022

While the Texas economy does appear to be “losing some steam,” according to a report from The Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University, it is still experiencing “impressive” growth. For example, in July 2021 statewide year-over-year (YOY) growth was 13 percent compared to 12 percent in July of 2022. Austin had the biggest decline, going from 17 percent growth last year to 11 percent this July. Houston grew 8.7 percent to make it the only metro slightly above the previous year’s growth.

Texas’ unemployment rate was four percent, compared to 3.5 percent nationally. “Considering that Texas’ jobless rate is typically the same as, if not lower than, the national average, one could explain Texas’ relatively high rate with an influx of out-of-state workers instead of a weak labor market,” said the report. Texas’ labor force participation rate was 63.8 percent, compared to 62.1 percent nationally. Unemployment claims in Texas have trended downward, with initial claims reaching an all-time low “as an influx of out-of-state workers join Texas’ robust labor force.’

Wages for private employees in Texas increased 4.5 percent year over year, but this did not overcome inflation, resulting in a loss of 1.3 percent.

Mortgage rates for 30-year loans have almost doubled recently, which coupled with rising home prices “continue to discourage buyers and cool the market.” While sales were down, they were at levels close to July 2019, which was a record-setting month prior to disruptions in the market from COVID-19. The report stated sales were expected to “continue their creep downward as the current economic climate persists.”

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