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Dallas Fed: Texas Adds 21,900 Jobs in May; State Employment Forecast Calls for 2.3 Percent Growth in 2019

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2019

Texas added 21,900 jobs in May, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state added a revised 32,800 jobs in April. Year-to-date annualized job growth stands at 2.3 percent compared to annual growth of 2.3 percent in 2018.

Incorporating May job growth of 2.1 percent and a moderate decrease in the leading index, the Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 2.3 percent this year (December/December), with an 80 percent confidence band of 1.4 to 3.2 percent. The forecast is unchanged from last month’s release.

Based on the forecast, 292,100 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2019 will be 12.9 million.

“The manufacturing and mining sectors have slowed this year likely due to increased tariffs, a strong dollar, a weakening world economy and weaker oil prices,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “While these two important sectors have slowed, the private service-producing and construction sectors have accelerated moderately, leaving overall job growth so far this year at the same pace as in 2018.”

In May, the Dallas Fed’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys reported a sharp increase in economic uncertainty and weakened outlooks. Respondents expressed pessimism about the effects of escalating tariffs with China and expressed uncertainty about when trade tensions will be resolved.

“If these factors continue, the Texas Leading Index will likely continue to decline in the coming months and the forecast will likely weaken,” Phillips said.

Unemployment rates fell in five of the nine major Texas metro areas in May, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. Jobless rates rose slightly in the Brownsville-Harlingen and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro areas and were flat in the Houston and Laredo 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. 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.

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