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'Texas Expansion Likely to Continue,' in 2020, Says Dallas Fed Economist

Texas Employment Forecast calls for 2.1 percent growth, roughly the same as the 2.0 percent in 2019

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2020

SAN ANTONIO—Texas employment is forecast to grow about 2.1 percent in 2020, said Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas assistant vice president and senior economist Keith Phillips today in San Antonio.

The forecast means Texas should add about 274,000 jobs in 2020. State employment grew at 2.0 last year, adding approximately 254,100 jobs.

“Despite continued weakness in the oil and gas sector, the Texas economy is likely to continue its long expansion in 2020,” Phillips said. “While job growth will be little changed from 2019, the historically low unemployment rate is likely to fall further."

Phillips presented the Bank’s annual Texas Economic Outlook to local business leaders at the Dallas Fed’s San Antonio Branch.

The Texas economy will probably continue to outpace the nation in 2020, Phillips said, but challenges remain, particularly in the energy sector.
“The biggest downside risks to forecast are a sharp decline in oil prices, trade war escalation or a national recession,” Phillips said.
Last year, Texas job growth weakened slightly from 2.4 to 2.0 percent as the energy industry declined and tight labor market constraints continued to suppress job growth.

Among the state's major metropolitan areas, job growth slowed in Houston in 2019, was little changed in Dallas and Austin, and picked up in Fort Worth and San Antonio.

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. The next release is scheduled for March 13.

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