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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 17,300 Jobs in September; State Employment Forecast at 2.7 for 2018

For Immediate Release: October 19, 2018

DALLAS—Texas added 17,300 jobs in September, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 46,400 jobs in August. That brings the year-to-date annualized growth rate to 2.9 percent.

Incorporating September employment growth of 1.7 percent and new Texas Leading Index data, the Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 2.7 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 2.2 to 3.2 percent.

Based on the forecast, 336,300 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2018 will be 12.7 million. The forecast ticked down slightly from the Bank’s estimate of 2.8 percent growth released last month.

“Monthly job growth has been volatile over the past few months with a weakening in July, a sharp bounceback in August and then a slowing in September,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Looking at the past three months, job growth was 2.4 percent—moderately slower than the 3.1 percent in the first half of the year. Job growth has been broad-based across metro areas with particular strength in Houston, which has grown at an annual rate of 3.9 percent over the past three months and 3.6 percent so far this year.” 

Unemployment rates were flat in five of the nine major Texas metro areas in September according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. Unemployment rates rose slightly in El Paso and Laredo and fell slightly in the Brownsville–Harlingen and Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land 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