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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 26,600 Jobs in January; State Employment Forecast Calls for 1.5 Percent Growth in 2019

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2019

DALLAS—Texas added 26,600 jobs in January, 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 December, bringing 2018 job growth to 2.3 percent compared to January’s annualized growth of 2.6 percent.  

The Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 1.5 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 0.1 to 2.9 percent. This is up from the previous estimate of 1.1 percent. Based on the forecast, 191,000 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2019 will be 12.8 million.

“In its annual benchmarked data released this morning, the Texas Workforce Commission revised its December/December 2018 job growth estimate from 3.2 percent to 2.3 percent,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “The Dallas Fed’s early benchmark data that we used for the forecast in January was very close to the annual benchmark, and hence our forecast for this year was little impacted.”

The improvement to the outlook came primarily from the rebound in the Texas Leading Index (TLI). The weakening of the TLI at the end of 2018 and then the rebound in January is consistent with business outlooks reported in the Dallas Fed’s Texas Business Outlook surveys

“It is clear that businesses are more optimistic now about 2019 growth than they were at the end of last year,” Phillips said

Unemployment rates rose in all of the nine major Texas metro areas in January, 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
Email: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org