Friday, March 28, 2008

Recession Watch: Not In Texas, Jobless Rate Hits Record Low, Even Construction Sector is Booming

DALLAS--The Texas jobless rate dropped to 4.1% in February – a low not seen since the mid-1970s, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Thursday (see chart above).

"Texas has once again reached a prominent benchmark – a more than 30-year record low for unemployment," newly appointed Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken said. "Our falling unemployment, coupled with this month’s significant job gains, indicates the sustained health and vitality of the Texas economy."

Construction continued to add jobs, with 1,900 new positions in February for an annual job growth rate of 4.3%.

15 Comments:

At 3/28/2008 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mkay now what is the reason for the falling unemployment rate?

"Texas has once again reached a prominent benchmark -- a more than 30-year record low for unemployment," said Tom Pauken, who took over this month as Texas Workforce Commission chairman.

This isn't business as usual in Texas so why are the jobs being created and where are they being created? Just saying that 1,300 construction jobs were created doesn't answer that question. I'd like to know what city and industry the jobs are being created in.

Check out the spin on the same story and data at Texas' job growth weakens, unemployment declines

 
At 3/28/2008 8:29 AM, Blogger Marko said...

The article you cite is funny. It quotes an economist saying a slowing in growth is "slowing". Slower growth doesn't equal slowing. Didn't anyone ever take physics and learn the difference between velocity and acceleration?? Why does everyone get that wrong? Either they are stupid, sloppy or politically motivated. Usually all three.

 
At 3/28/2008 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say oil and gas?

 
At 3/28/2008 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

marko you demonstrate uncommon common sense.

anon 8:48, heh. Oil and gas has been part of the Texas economy for decades so what difference would that make now? Why a 30 year low in unemployment rates? I thought all those Katrina refugees were supposed to be bad for Texas?

 
At 3/28/2008 12:35 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

"The trade, transportation and utilities sector added the most jobs in February, followed by leisure and hospitality.

Construction continued to add jobs, with 1,900 new positions in February for an annual job growth rate of 4.3 percent."

That seems clear enough to me.

 
At 3/28/2008 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas has very low state taxes and a very open regulatory climate.

Surprise, surprise...Texas continues to have lower unemployment than the U.S. average and more affordable housing than its neighbouring states.

Given the cost of complying with endless bureaucratic regulations and arbitrary dictates of petty officials, is it any wonder that businesses seek jurisdictions where they do not have to continually jump through hoops?

 
At 3/28/2008 3:31 PM, Blogger spencer said...

Anonymous credit all the low taxes and business friendly factors as the reason for the low unemployment rate in Texas. But in the fourth quarter of 1977 both Texas and Massachusetts
had the same unemployment rate of 4.3%.

Even in February Texas ranked number 20 and Mass ranked number
23 in terms of the 50 states unemployment rate.

It sure doesn't look like a big difference between the results in high tax, business unfriendly Mass. and low tax, business friendly Texas.

 
At 3/28/2008 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spencer,

According to Wikipedia, Massachusetts ranks as the 3rd most densely populated state in the U.S. with most of the population living in Boston, America's 11th largest city. Density is listed as 809.8 persons per sq. mile. Mass. comprises a mere 10,555 sq. miles with 6.4 million residents.

By contrast, Texas has 268,820 sq. miles and 23.9 million people. While Texas has 3 very large urban centres, it ranks 28th in density with 79.6 persons per sq. mile. From the standpoint of density, population and land mass, comparing Texas and Massachusetts is like comparing apples to oranges.

I can recall that the accomplishment that Lyndon Johnson was most proud of was bringing electricity to the poverty stricken rural backwaters of Texas. It is always difficult to make comparisons but wouldn't it be more reasonable to look for a state with similar population size, demography, land mass, density, industries, etc?

Many rural communities lack strategic location and critical mass of population, challenges that would be virtually unknown for a megalopolis like Boston. I will certainly concede that low taxes and an open regulatory climate are by no means a guarantee of economic viability.

 
At 3/28/2008 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Texas. Lots of schools are adding on to their physical plants right now. In our third tier suburb of Dallas lots of new commercial buildings are in progress. Houses in our neighborhood sell quickly if they have been kept updated. There is also a lot of new construction happening in downtown Dallas. I don't know why one would try to compare Tx and Mass 31 years ago. They didn't have the same laws or population back then that they do today.

 
At 3/28/2008 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just can't be so--I thought immigrants (which Texas has lots) steal jobs from natives--must be some fuzzy, porous border math

(end sarcasm)

 
At 3/29/2008 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 8:16,

Texas is one of the most vibrant and diverse states in the union.
I did not wish to leave you with the impression that I was denegrating Texas.

I just don't think that comparing a state with a large land mass and a diversity of urban, suburban & rural communities to an itty bitty state predominanted by a high density urban city. It just seems that these 2 states are as dis-similar as it gets. It would seem more reasonable to compare Texas with California or Arizona.

 
At 3/29/2008 3:43 AM, Blogger juandos said...

anon @ 12:31 AM says: "I just don't think that comparing a state with a large land mass and a diversity of urban, suburban & rural communities to an itty bitty state predominanted by a high density urban city"...

Hmmm, I don't think that difference in land mass and population density has much to do with the difference as maybe the business climate might...

The Tax Foundation has data on both Massachusetts and Texas and I'm thinking/guessing this might be of more importance...

 
At 3/29/2008 9:07 AM, Blogger spencer said...

My error -- I typed 1977 when I meant 2007.

My comparisons were meant to be of current data.

 
At 6/07/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger Richard Jennings said...

Yes unemployment is up but you are not a statistic and there are still thousands of 75K, 100K and 150K jobs out there. try these sites:

http://www.realmatch.com
http://www.monster.com
http://www.hotjobs.com

Try and you will succeed!

 
At 1/23/2009 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is now 2009. Texas' jobless rate is higher and will continue to feel the effects of recession more than most of the other states.

 

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