The news jobs report for March 2013 is out today, and here are the big takeaways:
- Nonfarm seasonally adjusted employment declined in Texas by 4,100 from Feb. 2013 to March 2013;
- Texas leads the nation in job creation. The largest over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+329,500), followed by California (+285,900) and Florida (+141,300);
- Texas’ unemployment rate for March 2013 was 6.4 percent, down from 7 percent in March 2012 and well-below the national average of 7.6 percent;
- The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national average for 75 consecutive months; and
- “In the last twelve months, the private sector added more than 317,000 jobs, and every major industry recorded positive annual growth,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar
Overall, Texas remains the dominant player on jobs-but this month’s employment update is a shot across-the-bow that we, as a state, cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to making Texas an attractive place for businesses and jobs. With that in mind, lawmakers need to take their efforts to the next level on taxes and spending by reducing the burden of the business franchise tax and reforming it; cutting the sales tax; refusing efforts to raise transportation taxes and fees; keeping spending at or near population and inflation; and protecting the rainy day fund.
Texas’ economy cannot be expected to perform on auto-pilot. The Legislature must be pro-active in its pro-growth approach.