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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 9,700 Jobs in July; State Employment Forecast Declines to 2.6 Percent for 2017

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2017

DALLAS—Texas gained 9,700 jobs in July, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 35,800 jobs in June. Texas jobs have grown 2.5 percent year to date in 2017 after rising 1.2 percent in 2016. The monthly annualized growth rate was 1 percent in July.

Incorporating July employment and new Texas Leading Index data, the Texas Employment Forecast calls for 2.6 percent growth for 2017, with an 80 percent confidence band of 1.9 to 3.3 percent. This suggests 309,200 jobs will be added in Texas this year. The forecast decreased slightly from the Bank’s estimate of 2.8 percent growth released last month.

“While job growth was somewhat soft in July, strength in the leading index components suggests continued growth above trend in the latter half of the year,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Energy and manufacturing continue to rebound, and the Dallas Fed’s Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey and Energy Survey suggest continued optimism about growth in the remaining months of the year.”

The Dallas Fed’s Texas Leading Index showed a moderate pick up over the three months ending in July, rising 0.69 percent. The decline in the Texas value of the dollar was the largest positive contributor to the index. This, along with a rise in average weekly hours worked in manufacturing, suggests continued robustness in the state’s manufacturing sector. Continued expansion in the national economy as reflected in the U.S. leading index was also a net gain.  Some weakness in energy and broader labor market indicators were net drags on the index.

Unemployment rates fell in seven of nine major Texas metro areas in July, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. Unemployment rates rose slightly in the Brownsville–Harlingen and El Paso metro areas.

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