DALLAS (The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) – The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is forecasting employment growth of 2.8 percent in 2018. The Dallas Fed projects 349,900 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2018 will be 12.7 million. “Growth last year was 2.4 percent, slightly under the December forecast of 2.5 percent but still strong relative to what we saw in 2015 and 2016,” said Dallas Fed Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist Dr. Keith Phillips in this month’s Texas Employment Forecast. “The improvement in job growth last year from the weak pace of 1.2 percent in 2016 was primarily due to strong rebounds in the energy and manufacturing sectors,” Phillips said. He said that while December job growth weakened, it followed two months of strong growth, and overall jobs grew at an annual pace of 2.3 percent in the second half of last year—despite Hurricane Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast. According to the latest Texas Workforce Commission employment data compiled by the Real Estate Center, Texas added 400 more jobs in December 2017 than the previous month. However, 306,900 jobs were added statewide between December 2016 and December 2017. Among other findings from last month:
Leisure and hospitality added 6,800 jobs, recording the largest private-industry employment gain in December.
Construction employment expanded by 4,300 jobs.
Information added 3,600 jobs. This includes traditional and software publishing, data processing and hosting, and telecommunications companies.
Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 10,500 jobs.
Professional and business services lost 300 jobs.
Manufacturing lost 2,400 jobs.
The goods-producing industry lost 1,300 jobs.
Mining registered 3,200 job losses.
Private sector jobs decreased by 3,900, and government increased by 4,300.
Financial activities lost 2,100 jobs.
The service sector added 1,700 jobs.
Education and health services lost 500 jobs.
The state’s unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in December, below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.