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Texas Employment Update

Texas Employment Update

September 19, 2011

The Texas economy is expanding at a healthy pace, with employment growth outpacing the nation. Texas added 13,700 jobs in August. Year-to-date, the state has gained 171,200 jobs (Table 1).

Table 1
Monthly Job Growth in Texas
  Number of jobs added Annualized growth rate
Year-to-Date 171,200 2.47
August 2011 13,700 1.56
July 2011 29,300 3.38
June 2011 33,000 3.83
May 2011 2,400 0.27
April 2011 31,900 3.71
March 2011 32,800 3.83
February 2011 15,800 1.83
January 2011 12,300 1.42

SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonal and other adjustments by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. View full data series.

The Dallas Fed improves the 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. Current Dallas Fed data are benchmarked though first quarter 2011. BLS data are benchmarked through third quarter 2010.

Types of Jobs Being Created in Texas
Chart 1 below provides a breakdown of employment growth by sector since the start of 2011, listing each sector by its weight in the Texas employment mix.

Chart graphic

Rate of Job Growth
To gauge the relative strength of Texas job growth, one of the simplest and most informative ways is comparing the rate of job growth in Texas relative to the U.S. However, those figures alone do not tell us how much Texas is contributing to national performance. Another option is calculating what U.S. job growth would be without Texas. For example, through August 2011, year-to-date annualized Texas job growth was 2.5 percent, compared with a U.S. rate of 1 percent. Without the Texas gains, U.S. employment would have expanded 0.8 percent (Table 2).

Table 2
Annualized Growth Rates Year-to-Date (August 2011)
U.S. (national survey data) 1.0
Texas (Dallas Fed data) 2.5
U.S. without Texas gains 0.8

SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonal and other adjustments by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Texas’ Share of U.S. Job Growth since the Recession Ended
One way to determine Texas’ contribution to national growth since the recession ended is the state's growth rank. Since June 2009, only one state (North Dakota) grew faster than Texas, while 18 states lost jobs on net. Thus, as of August 2011, Texas' growth rank during the recovery was two out of 50.

Another measure is the share of net U.S. jobs created in Texas. If all states are growing, this calculation is straightforward. Using Dallas Fed employment data for Texas and the BLS national payroll survey, the share is the increase in Texas jobs over the net increase in U.S. jobs (Table 3). However, because some states have lost jobs on net since the recession ended, the sum of the shares of states with positive job growth will be greater than 100 percent.

To ensure that the shares of states adding jobs, on net, total 100 percent, one would calculate Texas job growth as a share of net new jobs created in states in which the number of jobs have increased. This alternative calculation is used when some states are losing jobs, as has occurred in the post-recession period. In this case, the share would be the increase in Texas employment (BLS state data) over the increase in employment among states that grew (BLS state data). The Dallas Fed uses BLS state data in this calculation to ensure that the data are comparable (Table 3).

Table 3
Texas Share of U.S. Employment Gains: June 2009—August 2011
  Dallas Fed data/BLS national survey data BLS Texas data/BLS sum of states that added jobs
Texas 316,900 323,200
U.S. 639,000 1,088,200
Texas share (percent) 49.6 29.7

SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonal and other adjustments by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.


Data may not match previously published numbers due to data revisions.


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