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Dallas Fed: Texas Added 4,500 Jobs in February; State Employment Forecast Revised Down to 0.7 Percent for 2016

DALLAS—Texas added 4,500 jobs in February, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 23,700 jobs in January. Through the first two months of 2016, jobs have grown at an annualized pace of 1.4 percent after growing 1.5 percent in 2015.

Incorporating February’s employment data, the Texas Employment Forecast stands at 0.7 percent growth for 2016, suggesting 88,400 jobs will be added in Texas this year. This is a downward revision from the 0.9 percent forecast the Bank released at the beginning of March.

“Declines in energy prices early this year and continued strength in the dollar loom large on recent and future growth in the Texas economy,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Over the past three months there was a broad-based decrease in the leading index components suggesting weakness in the Texas economy going forward.”

The Dallas Fed’s Texas Leading Index declined slightly in February, and the net three-month percent change was –2.79. However, the index showed less weakness in February after two months of sharp declines, and several of the components turned up.

Unemployment rates remained flat in five of nine major Texas metro areas in February, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. Unemployment rates fell in the Brownsville–Harlingen, Dallas–Plano–Irving, El Paso and McAllen–Edinburg–Mission areas.

The Dallas Fed improves upon Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) payroll employment estimates for Texas by incorporating preliminary benchmarks into the data in a more timely manner and by using a two-step seasonal adjustment technique.

The Dallas Fed releases its Texas Employment Forecast on a monthly basis in conjunction with the release of monthly Texas employment data. The forecast projects job growth for the calendar year and is estimated as the 12-month change in payroll employment from December to December.

For information on the methodology for the Bank’s Texas employment forecast, visit the Dallas Fed’s website.

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Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748
Email: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org