On a day when the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised upward the 3rd quarter estimate of U.S. economic growth to 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ released a regional and state employment report for November 2013 showing many states have reason to be grateful during this holiday season. But Texans especially have reason to be jolly of the gains made possible by the state government’s limited government approach.
According to the report, the Lone Star State had the second highest net job gains added last month (+28,700) and the fourth straight decline in the state’s unemployment rate from 6.5 percent in July to 6.1 percent last month.
In fact, the state’s unemployment rate has now been at or below the national average (7 percent) for 83 consecutive months-one month shy of seven years-and continues to ring victory bells compared with its big-government counterpart, California, which has the nation’s 5th highest unemployment rate (8.5 percent).
With Texas’ employers adding +274,200 net new jobs over the last year-more than any other state and +48,000 more than California-Texans have reason to be optimistic about their employment opportunities.
Although California has been steadily closing the gap in total jobs created over the last year, recall that California’s population is about 60 percent greater than the number of Texans.
If we consider year-over-year employment growth rates, Texas (+2.5 percent) is tied for second with Florida and ranks far ahead of California (+1.6 percent) and the U.S. average (+1.7 percent). Texas is second only to North Dakota (+4 percent).
Remarkably, Texas’ annual rate of job growth has soared above the rates of California and the U.S. average since at least 2009 (see figure).
Other important statistics from the report include:
- Industries with the most growth last month: Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+22.000), Professional & Business Services (+9,400), and Manufacturing (+3,500);
- Industry that shrank the most: Leisure & Hospitality (-5,500); and
- Employment has grown in all industries over the last year with Professional & Business Services growing by the most (+5.6 percent).
Yesterday’s remarks by Richard Fisher, CEO and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, are quite fitting: “Above all, Texas is a state of mind where people are ready to work and get things done for the betterment of their families, communities, cities and beyond…” “We should be proud, indeed, to call the Lone Star State our home.”
As the holiday season comes into full swing, there are many reasons for Texans to feel jolly about the direction of the Texas economy, the state’s labor market, and its future prospects. It truly is a blessed time to be a Texan!