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Dallas Fed: Texas adds 23,100 jobs in March; state employment forecast calls for 1.8 percent growth in 2019

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2019

Texas added 23,100 jobs in March, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 21,000 jobs in February. Year-to-date annualized job growth stands at 2.1 percent compared to annual growth of 2.3 percent in 2018.  

Incorporating March job growth of 2.2 percent and a third consecutive increase in the leading index, the Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 1.8 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 0.6 to 3.0 percent.

Based on the forecast, 226,700 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2019 will be 12.9 million. The forecast rose slightly from the Dallas Fed’s estimate of 1.5 percent growth released last month.

“After a sharp weakening at the end of 2018, leading indicators of the Texas economy continue to improve, reflecting improved outlooks for the national and global economies and higher oil prices” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Job growth in the first three months of the year generally was steady at a pace near 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, moderately lower oil prices and continued uncertainty about trade restrictions,” Phillips said.

Unemployment rates fell in all of the nine major Texas metro areas in March, 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. The Dallas Fed also seasonally adjusts Texas metropolitan-area unemployment rates from the BLS.

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.


Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748