In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.
A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas in the state saw much bigger gains, like North Texas.
The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area ranked No. 2 in job creation in the state (Midland was No. 1), followed by Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7, with 2.7 percent job growth.
“The North Texas economy is more dependent on the U.S. economy, so it’s not energy-based, compared to the Houston or Midland-Odessa economy, where energy has a bigger weight,” said Real Estate Center research economist Luis Torres. “Because the U.S. economy is growing and doing better, you’re seeing that reflected in the Dallas economy.”
In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than a year ago.
Big sectors for job growth were:
- Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
- Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
- Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
- Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
- Construction: 3.34 percent growth
“The correlation between the Dallas economy and the U.S. economy is very high, and the main reason is because Dallas is a transportation hub and all the goods and services that pass in the state use Dallas transportation systems,” said Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari.
Other great news in the report is that the state’s unemployment rate in June was 4.4 percent, with many major metro areas ranking lower. Dallas-Plano-Irving had the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in Texas, at 4 percent. Fort Worth-Arlington’s was 4 percent, making it the tenth-lowest in the state.
The outlook for the North Texas economy is bright, said Real Estate Center Director Director Gary Maler.
“The rate of growth is slowing for [energy-based] areas, but for Dallas, it is still growing and not declining,” Maler said. “There’s a positive outlook for this region because of all the companies moving their offices there, like Toyota.”
Maler noted that in areas of the state with energy-based economies, like Midland-Odessa and Houston, there might be problems next year.
“In Midland-Odessa or Houston, you have red flags and everybody is really watching those areas closely,” he said. “Their annual rates are still positive, but because of the hedging all the oil companies did for this year, next year, if the oil prices continue to go down, that will affect employment growth. Also, if this Iran deal goes through and the Republicans in Congress don’t block it, then the Iranians could dump more oil on the market and prices could go even lower. It all bears a lot of watching.”
Download the full-size infographic, “7 Best Texas Cities for Employment Growth,” by clicking HERE.