AUSTIN –  Today, the Texas Workforce Commission released Texas labor market data for August 2015. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy Economist Dr. Vance Ginn issued the following statement:

“Despite the decline in August, nonfarm job creation during the last twelve months is up 217,700 for a 1.9 percent pace bringing the unemployment to 4.1 percent—the lowest since 2001 and has now been at or below the national average for 104 consecutive months.

“The Texas model of low taxes, no personal income tax, and less regulation has been able to bear the brunt of the headwinds facing the state for some time, but last month Texans felt these strains as net nonfarm employment contracted by 13,700. Lower oil prices weighed on the mining industry, dominated by the oil and gas sector, as there were 5,300 fewer people employed in that industry. Global weaknesses in places like China and Canada, which is Texas’ second largest trading partner and is currently in a technical recession, contributed to a 5,600 decline in the manufacturing industry last month.

“Texas has had positive job creation in 57 out of the last 59 months despite last month’s decline, outpacing that of most states since the Great Recession. In fact, the Lone Star State has created 1.5 million total jobs since December 2007 which surpasses the 1.3 million created by the rest of the nation, comprising 53.4 percent of total U.S. employment added.

“There’s no doubt that lower oil prices and a weakening global economy have taken their toll on the Texas economy and job creation and should be watched in upcoming months for the sake of Texas’ future prosperity. It’s a great time for the taxes that were repealed on September 1 and the upcoming cuts in the business franchise tax as more money is left in Texans’ hands giving them more opportunities to weather a slowdown instead of increasing their dependence on government.”

To schedule an interview with Dr. Ginn, please contact Caroline Espinosa at cespinosa@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.

Vance Ginn, Ph.D. is an Economist in the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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