By Alex Nguyen, The Texas Tribune
“Texas Leads Country in New Jobs in 2022 as State Unemployment Rate Plunges Below 4%” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that keeps Texans informed about public policy, politics, government, and the state at large – and collaborate with them issues.
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Texas led the country in new nonfarm payrolls last year, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report Tuesday.
According to the report, the state’s employers added 650,100 nonfarm payroll jobs between December 2021 and December 2022 — a 5% increase. That increase surpassed that of California and Florida, which added 621,400 and 440,000 jobs, respectively. Overall, 13.7 million Texans were employed outside of agriculture at the end of 2022, compared to about 13 million at the end of 2021.
The report continues a string of strong economic indicators for Texas. The state continued a record 14-month job streak in December, according to an earlier report by the Texas Workforce Commission. And the state’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the first time it has fallen below 4% since forced business closures at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Employers in Texas added 29,500 nonfarm payroll jobs in December, according to the TWC. Positions in education and healthcare accounted for over 40% of that number, with 12,700 positions, leading the job growth over the last month. Financial services and manufacturing also added 6,300 and 5,500 jobs, respectively.
“It’s no surprise that Texas leads the state in job creation, adding more jobs in 2022 and growing faster than any other state,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Tuesday news release. “Texas works when Texans work, and this legislature we will continue to expand opportunities and ensure Texas remains the best state to live, work, build a business and raise a family.”
However, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas have noted since September that Texas is experiencing an economic slowdown, most recently citing slowing job growth, manufacturing output and inflation in the state. For comparison, the state added 40,000 jobs in September – almost 1.4 times more than in December.
“That’s still good job growth and more in line with our ability to fill those positions,” said Pia Orrenius, senior economist at the Dallas Fed.
For 2023, Orrenius expects Texas job growth to be “significantly slower,” but likely still faster than the rest of the country. At the same time, she said the Dallas Fed hasn’t forecast a recession in Texas this year — although she acknowledged the economic slowdown could come as late as the second half of the year or early 2024.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar previously told the Texas Tribune that he expects a “relatively shallow and short” recession for the state in 2023, but warned that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation nationally could slow the recession could exacerbate. Inflation in Texas is declining month-on-month — but according to Orrenius, the number is still “a really high number” year-on-year.
“A soft landing is what we see for Texas in 2023,” she said.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/01/20/texas-employment-jobs-2022/.
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