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Dallas Fed: Texas Loses 700 Jobs in December; State Employment Forecast Falls Slightly to 1.9 Percent For 2017

For Immediate Release: Jan. 20, 2017

DALLAS— Texas lost 700 jobs in December, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 35,100 jobs in November. In 2016, jobs increased by 1.6 percent after rising 1.3 percent in 2015. The monthly annualized growth rate in December was –0.1 percent.

Incorporating December employment and new Texas Leading Index data, the Texas Employment Forecast stands at 1.9 percent growth for 2017, suggesting 233,000 jobs will be added in Texas this year. The forecast was revised slightly downward from the Bank’s estimate of 2 percent growth which was released at the annual Texas Economic Outlook event on Jan. 10.

“Job growth was close to zero in December but was revised up sharply in November resulting in 1.8 percent growth for the fourth quarter,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Recent moderate job growth and a strong December increase in the Texas Leading Index suggest some upward momentum heading into 2017.”

The energy sector stabilized in the second half of last year and energy executives report improved outlooks for 2017, according to the Dallas Fed’s Energy Survey

“Gains in the energy sector would help many manufacturing industries in the state, although the strength of the dollar is still a sharp headwind for the many exporters in Texas,” Phillips said.

Unemployment rates rose in all nine major Texas metro areas in November, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed.

The Dallas Fed improves 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. Texas metropolitan-area unemployment rates from the BLS also are seasonally adjusted by the Dallas Fed.

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:
Alex Johnson
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-5288
E-mail: alexander.johnson@dal.frb.org