Texas’ Unemployment Rate Falls to New Record Low 3.8%

TWC September 2018 Texas Labor Market DataTexas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent in August 2018 and setting a new record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in four decades. The Texas economy added 15,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in September. Annual employment growth for Texas was 3.3 percent in September, marking 27 consecutive months of annual growth.

“Texas employers continue to contribute to our state’s success with private-sector employers adding 16,700 jobs in September and accounting for an impressive 402,500 jobs over the year,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chair Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “Texas’ continued addition of jobs over a 27-month period demonstrates the competitive advantage and market opportunities available to our Texas employers and world-class workforce.”

September’s annual growth in the state’s Goods Producing industries was strong at 6.9 percent. Over the month, Construction added 3,000 jobs, followed by the Manufacturing industry with 2,800 positions, while Mining and Logging employment expanded by 2,600 positions.

In Texas’ Service Providing sector, Financial Activities added 5,800 positions over the month, and led all industries in job growth for September. Also within this sector, Professional and Business Services added 2,500 jobs, followed by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which added 2,100.

“Texas’ labor force is made up of hard-working individuals who are eager to obtain the skills that our employers need,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I encourage all job seekers to contact their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance with job training and placement.”

View the Texas Labor Market Highlights for September 2018 from TWC Labor Commissioner Julian Alvarez:

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.2 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA and the Odessa MSA which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.7 percent. The Austin-Round Rock and College Station- Bryan MSAs recorded the third lowest rate of 2.9 percent for September.

“Texas continues to flourish thanks to the outstanding efforts and talents of individuals and employers in communities around the state,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert D. Thomas.  “TWC will continue to promote innovative workforce and economic development strategies in collaboration with our education partners, local leaders, and industry to preserve our competitive edge in the best place to work in the world.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

To see the full September Texas Labor Market release, please visit the TWC website.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter for more updates about Texas Labor Market Data.

Pictures Tell Great Stories

For this post we’ve opted just to share a few charts and graphs we’ve come across recently. They probably won’t directly solve job search or recruiting problems but they might give insight to determine best solution-path. At the very least we hope they provide some perspective and insight into the job market.

  1. Job Losses & Gains – A few years ago as the great recession was winding down someone put together a great chart that showed the significant job losses the U.S. experienced from 2007 – 2010. To say a picture was worth a thousand words is to say the Grand Canyon is a just a gash in the ground. Fast forward a few years and our friends at Theory Into Practice (TIP) Strategies have put together an even more comprehensive map. One that shows both job loss AND job gain. Since 1999. And it’s fascinating. Blue is good, that’s jobs gained. Orange is bad, that’s jobs lost. Check it out.
  2. Job Salaries by State – There are many of these salary exploration tools around but I like this one because it’s easy to use. Want to know what a specific job in a general occupational field in any state pays? Select a state and mouse-around the graph to find out. Each box represents the relative size of the labor pool working in that occupation. And if you just want to see which jobs really pay, slide the dot on the income salary bar around to find out.
  3. Under-Employment – Unemployment rate is a standard indicator of economic stability. But as that improves (gets lower) the conversation tends to focus on the under-employment rate. Generally you want just enough skilled workers to fill all the skilled jobs. Underemployment means there are more skilled workers than there are jobs for them so they have to work at jobs that require less skill than they possess and thereby earn less than they otherwise could. For example, in this graph you’ll see that Austin has a ton of skilled labor but not enough jobs for all those people, whereas Odessa has a ton of skilled jobs but not enough people to fill them. And why does this matter? Because part of what the public workforce system does is connect skilled labor with skilled demand. Charts like this help us better understand local situations.
  4. WorkInTexas.com Job Seeker Supply – We often get questions (usually from employers) about what job seeker skill sets are available in what parts of the state. This information is very helpful to companies looking to open new or expand existing operations. This is another topic for which there are many tools, but years ago we developed some very simple pie charts to help graphically show the labor pool the Texas workforce system has available to it through WorkInTexas.com. Have a look.