AUSTIN – Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released state-level labor market data for December 2014. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy Economist Dr. Vance Ginn issued the following statement:
“Texas’ record setting job growth continued at a breakneck pace through the last month of 2014. For the year, Texas led the nation in job creation with 457,900 net nonfarm jobs added. This brings the annual pace up to 4 percent, which is almost double the national rate and higher than the largest states—California, New York, and Florida. The opportunity to find a job and fulfill ones hopes and dreams are what we come to expect in Texas; these numbers are another signal that the Texas model’s success should be one others emulate.
“In the state’s productive private sector, the annual pace was a remarkable 4.4 percent last year. This job growth helped to lower the state’s unemployment rate to 4.6 percent—a full percentage point below the national average and its lowest level since May 2008. Texas’ unemployment rate has now been at or below California’s rate for 101 consecutive months and the national average for 96 consecutive months.
“Despite these strong job gains, the 55 percent drop in oil prices since June 2014 could spell future trouble for job growth in oil-dominated areas. It will be an industry to watch in upcoming months if oil prices remain subdued for an extended period. However, with Texas’ diversified economy we are not likely to see a replay of the 1980s.”