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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 21,300 Jobs in April; State Employment Forecast Remains at 2.4 Percent for 2017

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2017

DALLAS— Texas added 21,300 jobs in April, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 19,800 jobs in March. Texas jobs have grown 2.5 percent year to date in 2017 after rising 1.7 percent in 2016. The monthly annualized growth rate was 2.1 percent in April.

Incorporating April employment and new Texas Leading Index data, the Texas Employment Forecast calls for 2.4 percent growth in 2017, with an 80 percent confidence band of 1.3 to 3.5 percent. This suggests that the state will add 289,300 jobs by year’s end. The forecast held steady from the Bank’s previous estimate released last month.

“Job growth has been healthy over the first four months of the year, averaging 2.5 percent,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Growth has been particularly strong in the mining and manufacturing sectors, which declined in 2016. The rebound in these sectors and the rise in the leading index suggest an improvement in job growth this year from the 1.7 percent pace of 2016.”

The components of the Texas Leading Index were mixed over the three months through March. The sharp decline in the Texas value of the dollar, which boosts the competitiveness of state exports, spurred overall growth in the index. A moderate increase in the U.S. leading index and modest stock price gains for companies with a significant presence in Texas also contributed to the increase. Conversely, mild declines in help-wanted advertising, some softening in energy indicators and a slight increase in new unemployment claims were a small drag on the index.

Unemployment rates fell in all nine of the major Texas metro areas in March, 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:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748
E-mail: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org