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Texas Employment Growth Picks up; Labor Market Remains Tight

Home Prices Likely to Keep Rising, says Dallas Fed Economist

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2017

DALLAS—Texas job growth has outpaced the nation so far this year, and the state’s labor market remains tight, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Economic Update.

Texas added jobs at a 2.4 percent annualized rate in May, with the manufacturing and energy sectors posting gains. Goods-producing sectors have added jobs at a 6.5 percent rate year to date, outpacing the 1.9 percent growth in private services.

The state unemployment rate dropped from 5.0 percent to 4.8 percent in May. While this  exceeds the 4.3 percent May rate for the nation, the incidence of discouraged workers, the marginally attached and the underemployed have been more muted in Texas and remain mostly at or below their national rates, according to the report.

Texas home price appreciation shows no signs of stopping amid strong demand and inadequate supply, Dallas Fed Economist Anil Kumar said in a video accompanying the report’s release.

“Most indicators of residential construction in Texas receded in April after posting gains in March,” Kumar said. “Shortages of labor and developed lots have been important headwinds for the construction sector in Texas. With strong demand and inadequate housing supply, most measures of house prices suggest that house price appreciation remains strong.”

Looking ahead, the latest Dallas Fed Texas Employment Forecast for 2017 ticked up slightly from 2.4 to 2.6 percent and the Texas Leading Index points to continued growth for the state. Downside risks are sharply declining oil prices, continued strength in the dollar and uncertainty regarding both U.S. trade and tax policy.

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