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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Jobs Picture Remains Bright

By Patrick Graves

Texas employers continued hiring workers in August but at a slower pace than in the previous summer months. Even so, it was the 14th consecutive month of state job growth.

Texas gained 5,500 new jobs in August, 14,100 fewer than in July. Despite the falloff, employment rose by 2.5 percent for the year ending in August, more than double the rate for the previous year. Texas’ nonfarm employment growth ranked first among states in year-over-year net change (298,600) and fifth in percentage change (2.5 percent). In January through August 2017, the Lone Star State netted 142,400 nonfarm jobs.

Top Five Texas-based Employers
Rank Company HQ City Number of Employees* Industry/Type of Business
1 Yum China Holdings Plano 420,000 casual dining, fast-food restaurants
(KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)
2 AT&T Dallas 268,540 telecommunications
3 Dell Technologies Round Rock 138,000 computers, information technology
4 American Airlines Group Fort Worth 122,300 air travel
5 Tenet Healthcare Dallas 116,475 hospitals and other medical facilities

*worldwide
SOURCE: Fortune, as reported in “Ranking Texas Companies that Employ the Most People,” Houston Chronicle, June 11, 2017.

Among the state’s metro areas, San Antonio – New Braunfels added the most jobs in August — 7,800 —and the largest monthly percentage increase at 0.8 percent. The largest monthly decrease was in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area, which lost 1,900 jobs. While goods production outpaced services in total job growth, the trade, transportation and utilities category saw the biggest expansion, with 9,100 jobs gained from July to August; construction (2,600) and manufacturing (2,200) were second and third, respectively. The latter’s 4.2 percent annual job growth rate was its largest year-over-year increase since March 2012.

An executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas previously noted that Texas’ second-quarter job growth rate was the state’s fastest since 2014; that led to an uptick in its 2017 jobs forecast to 2.8 percent. In mid-August, however, the Dallas Fed revised its forecast downward slightly to 2.6 percent. It now predicts an increase of 309,200 jobs for the year.

The seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate fell from 4.3 percent in July to 4.2 percent in August, the lowest since mid-2016, while the U.S. rate remained virtually unchanged at 4.4 percent. For the first time in five months, unemployment either increased slightly or remained constant in almost every major metropolitan area in Texas. Amarillo’s jobless rate was lowest at 3.1 percent, with Midland second at 3.2 percent and Austin – Round Rock third at 3.4 percent.

The rate of labor force participation — the share of the Texas workforce working or actively seeking work — was 62.9 percent, down slightly from July’s 63.1 percent. In the spring, the rate exceeded 64 percent for the first time since 2015.

Learn more about the state’s job markets by visiting the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State and Metro Area Employment, Hours and Earnings online resource.

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