Texas job growth slows with unemployment rate stable at 4%

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Texas job growth slowed from February to March while the unemployment rate held steady at 4%, according to new numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The state added more than 28,600 jobs in March, a 51% decrease in job growth compared to February, according to The latest TWC report.

This continues over two years of continuous monthly job growth in Texas.

“Private industries in the state are thriving,” said TWC Commissioner Aaron Demerson.

The US unemployment rate was 3.6% for the month.

Despite the slowdown in monthly growth, the size of the Texas workforce and the number of people employed in the state still broke records last month, TWC said.

Texas added 575,100 jobs in the past 12 months. TWC said employment growth in the state from March 2024 to 2023 outpaced the nation in all 11 major industries.

“The promise of Texas knows no bounds,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “With more Texans working today than ever before, we are building a greater Texas of the future.”

Texas had more than 13.8 million nonfarm workers in March. Employment rose from February to March in all sectors except financial, professional, and information services. These two categories of jobs shed 7,400 jobs combined as the mortgage and technology sectors faced broad economic uncertainty.

Job postings are rejected

Job postings on job-posting site Indeed fell across all major Texas metro stations from the beginning of the year through March, indicating that demand for workers has slowed, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Dallas Federal Reserve researchers said in a report last month that uncertainty about the state’s economic outlook in March increased due to stress in the banking sector and tightening financial conditions.

Dallas Fed researchers said there are few signs of easing inflation as price and wage pressures continue to rise, particularly in the services sector.

The oil and gas industry is seeing gains

The Texas Association of Independent Producers and Owners, a trade association representing 3,000 independent oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners across the state, reported 14,491 active jobs in the industry in March — an increase of 21% from February.

This includes 6,193 new vacancies, up 35% from March.

“The Texas oil and natural gas industry continues to increase hiring and production in line with the growing demand for our products both here and abroad,” said Ed Longaniker, President of TIPRO.

Longaniker said global demand for oil and natural gas is expected to increase by 34% by 2050, and “it is imperative that policy at the state and federal levels reflect this reality and that elected officials support continued investment in energy infrastructure and domestic production.”

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