What if the job market in the nation’s other 49 states had kept up with that of Texas over the last 3 years? A recent piece by the Texanomics blog serves to bring clarity to that very question.
The research, originally conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that “if US employment had grown at the same rate as Texas’ since January 2009,” the country, overall, would currently “have 5% unemployment.” It should be noted that over the same period of time, while the “US labor force has shrunk” Texas “has grown nearly 5%.”
Workers have undoubtedly emigrated from states around the country and flooded the Lone Star State’s labor market with both educated and skilled prospective employees. This increase in the supply of labor has put a slight downward pressure on wages in Texas – a force offset slightly by Texas’ lower costs of living.
The overall picture here is that while Texas has seen astounding growth in employment, in comparison to other states, it has also seen a similar expansion of its labor supply. In order to see a net decrease in unemployment Texas must meet increases in labor supply with even greater increases in employment opportunities.
Unemployment numbers by themselves do not tell the whole story. Texas has obviously fared well in recent years in comparison to many other states, but until a national recovery takes hold- one that will relieve Texas of some of the pressure to remain a prime job creator in a highly flexible labor market- the state will have to continue to fight to meet those increases in the demand for jobs with a greater supply of them.