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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 20,400 Jobs in August; State Employment Forecast Remains at 2.6 Percent for 2017

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2017

DALLAS—Texas gained 20,400 jobs in August, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 11,100 jobs in July. Texas jobs have grown 2.6 percent year to date in 2017 after rising 1.2 percent in 2016. The monthly annualized growth rate was 2 percent in August.

Incorporating August employment growth, revised July leading index data, and the first-quarter early benchmark, the Texas Employment Forecast calls for 2.6 percent job growth this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 2.0 to 3.2 percent.

Hurricane Harvey occurred after the collection period for the employment data and thus is not included in the August estimates.

The forecast was unchanged from the Dallas Fed’s previous estimate. Based on the forecast, 320,500 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2017 will be 12.4 million.

“Job growth was moderate in August; however, the continued strength in the leading index suggests growth above trend for the second half of 2017,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist.

The impacts of Hurricane Harvey on Texas job growth are expected to be negative but transitory, Phillips said. Dallas Fed analysis suggests that Texas employment will decline significantly in September but rebound in October, returning to trend growth before the end of the year.  The net effect on state job growth for the year is therefore expected to be minimal. 

Unemployment rates rose in six of nine major Texas metro areas in August, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. Unemployment rates were flat in the Austin–Round Rock, El Paso and San Antonio 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