In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.
A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas saw much bigger gains, like Midland-Odessa.
Midland ranked first in job creation, followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7 with 2.7 percent job growth.
In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than one year prior.
Big sectors for job growth were:
- Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
- Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
- Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
- Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
- Construction: 3.34 percent growth
All these new jobs in the Texas economy were created despite lower oil prices. Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari says there hasn’t been much impact from dropping oil prices yet. But that could change.
“The oil companies hedged into the future and they have oil contracts, many of them extending to the end of this year,” Anari said. “If there is a downtown, it would not be apparent until next year.”
Real Estate Center Director Director Gary Maler said in energy-dependent economies in Texas, the situation bears watching.
“In Midland-Odessa or Houston, you have red flags and everybody is really watching those areas closely,” Maler said “Their annual rates are still positive, but because of the hedging all the oil companies did for this year, next year, if the oil prices continue to go down, that will affect employment growth. Also, if this Iran deal goes through and the Republicans in Congress don’t block it, then the Iranians could dump more oil on the market and prices could go even lower.”
The report had good news about the state’s unemployment rate in June, which was 4.4 percent, with many major metro areas ranked lower. Midland had the third-lowest unemployment rate in Texas, at 3.4 percent. Odessa’s was 4.4 percent, ranking it at No. 14.
Download the full-size infographic, “7 Best Texas Cities for Employment Growth,” by clicking HERE.