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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 18,500 Jobs in February; State Employment Forecast Calls for 1.5 Percent Growth in 2019

For Immediate Release: March 22, 2019

DALLAS—Texas added 18,500 jobs in February, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
The state added a revised 20,400 jobs in January. Year-to-date annualized job growth stands at 1.9 percent compared to annual growth of 2.3 percent in 2018.  

The Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 1.5 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 0.2 to 2.8 percent. Based on the forecast, 194,900 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2019 will be 12.8 million.

“After an increase in uncertainty about the national and global economies in the fourth quarter of last year, business outlooks improved in the first two months of 2019, and this improvement is reflected in the forecast,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist.

“Job growth in the first two months of the year generally was steady at a pace slightly below 2.0 percent—slower than the 2.3 percent growth in 2018. While the forecast has improved since January, it still suggests weaker job growth this year than in 2018. The three primary factors facing the Texas economy in 2019 remain historically tight labor markets, lower oil prices and continued uncertainty about trade restrictions. These factors will likely slow Texas job growth this year,” Phillips said

Unemployment rates fell in all of the nine major Texas metro areas in February, 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

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Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748
Email: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org