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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 63,400 Jobs in October; State Employment Forecast Remains at 2.6 Percent for 2017

For Immediate Release: November 17, 2017

DALLAS—Texas added 63,400 jobs in October, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state lost a revised 1,400 jobs in September, primarily due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Texas jobs have grown 2.7 percent year to date in 2017 after rising 1.2 percent in 2016. The monthly annualized growth rate was 6.4 percent in October.

Incorporating October leading index and employment data and adjusting for the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 2.6 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 2.2 to 3.0 percent.

The forecast was unchanged from the Dallas Fed’s previous estimate. Based on the forecast, 311,000 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2017 will be 12.4 million.

“The rebound in October jobs puts state job growth back on track to finish the year strong,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Houston and the Gulf Coast region saw a big pickup in jobs following the declines in September, while the I-35 corridor of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio continued to grow at a steady pace.”

Adjusting for the temporary spike and subsequent decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance, the Dallas Fed’s Texas Leading Index shows a modest increase over the three months ending in October, rising 0.5 percent. The decline in permits for drilling new oil and gas wells continued to be the largest drag on the index, followed by a slight strengthening in the Texas value of the dollar and a decline in average weekly hours worked in manufacturing.  Strength in the U.S. leading index, oil prices and the Texas Stock Index were the largest positive contributors to the index.

Unemployment rates fell in all nine major Texas metro areas in October, 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