By June 22, 2015 Read More →

Texas economy creates 33,200 jobs

Texas economy resilient despite headwinds, says economist Vance Ginn

Despite oil prices dropping by half in late 2014, the Texas economy keeps creating jobs, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Texas economy

Oil prices have dropped by roughly 50% since late 2014.

Texas gained 33,200, the third-highest, though its unemployment rate also ticked up, to 4.3 per cent from 4.2 per cent.

Unemployment rates rose in 25 U.S. states last month, driven higher in many cases by more people who began looking for work but didn’t immediately find jobs.

Rates fell in 9 states and Washington, D.C., and were unchanged in 16 states, the Labor Department said Friday.

Despite the pickup in unemployment rates, employers are hiring at a robust pace, boosting job growth in most parts of the country. Thirty-seven states added jobs last month, while 12 states cut jobs. Hiring in Montana was flat.

“Texas now extends its remarkable stretch of the unemployment rate being at or below national average to 101 consecutive months,” said economist Vance Ginn of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, in a statement.

Texas economy

Vance Ginn, Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy.

Net nonfarm job creation of 286,400 across most major industries during the last twelve months led to a share of the population employed remaining around 62 per cent since the Great Recession, whereas the data today show that other states have not been so fortunate, says Ginn.

The state data echoes last month’s national pattern. Employers added 280,000 jobs, yet the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent. That can happen when more Americans start job hunts but aren’t immediately hired. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching for work.

“The Lone Star State’s job creation despite headwinds of the U.S. dollar appreciation and drop in oil prices shows the resilience of the state’s economy,” Ginn said.

Many states gained jobs but saw their unemployment rates rise as their ranks of job searchers also increased. California added the most jobs last month, gaining 54,200. Yet its unemployment rate ticked up to 6.4 per cent from 6.3 per cent. That’s because more than 70,000 people started looking for work last month, and about 13,000 didn’t find jobs.

New York added 42,700 jobs, the second-most, while its unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.7 per cent.

Nearly every state has gained jobs in the past 12 months, except for West Virginia, which lost nearly 17,000. It shed jobs in mining, construction, and government, the Labor Department said.

West Virginia now has the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 7.2 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent the previous month. It has overtaken Nevada, where the rate remained 7.1 per cent in May.

Nebraska has the lowest rate, at 2.6 per cent, though it ticked up from 2.5 per cent the previous month. In April it displaced North Dakota as the state with the lowest rate. That’s because North Dakota has lost oil and gas drilling jobs as energy companies have been forced to cut back in the wake of last year’s drop in oil prices. North Dakota’s rate is still very low, at 3.1 per cent.

“With its high economic growth rate, low unemployment rate, and low cost of living, the Texas model of limited government benefits all Texans,” said Ginn.

“The Legislature’s passage of a conservative budget and roughly $4 billion in tax and fee relief are major milestones taking Texas to the next level of more liberty, freer markets, and greater prosperity.”

With files from the Canadian Press.

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