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Dallas Fed: Texas Employment Forecast to Increase 2.5 to 3.5 Percent in 2014

Southwest Economy also finds Texas has produced more ‘good’ jobs than the rest of the nation since 2000.

For immediate release: March 6, 2014

DALLAS—The first-quarter issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Southwest Economy includes articles on Texas employment growth in 2013, Texas’ record on job creation and healthcare coverage in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.

The Texas economy will likely continue growing faster than the national average and most other U.S. states in 2014, say research officer and senior economist Keith Phillips and research assistant Christopher Slijk in “Texas to Remain a Top State for Job Growth in 2014.”

Recent increases in leading indicators, including the Dallas Fed’s Texas Leading Index and company outlook indexes in the Bank’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, suggest Texas nonfarm employment should increase by 2.5 to 3.5 percent in 2014, according to the authors.

“Headwinds from cuts in federal government spending should dissipate, while manufacturing sector expansion is expected to increase as U.S. and world economies improve,” Phillips and Slijk write. “Energy and construction are anticipated to remain strong.”

Texas was the third-fastest-growing state in terms of job growth in 2013, trailing only North Dakota and Florida, the authors note.

In “Texas Leads Nation in Creation of Jobs at All Pay Levels,” research analyst Melissa LoPalo and vice president and senior economist Pia Orrenius find that Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the U.S. in each of four wage groups—lowest, lower-middle, upper-middle and highest paid—from 2000 to 2013.

Texas posted job growth in the lower-middle and upper-middle wage quartiles, unlike the rest of the nation, the authors state. The U.S. saw negative and zero growth in those quartiles, respectively, during the same time period.

The two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of net new jobs in Texas from 2000 to 2013, the authors note, countering the faulty notion that Texas creates only “bad” jobs.

In sum, the data show Texas has experienced far greater growth of higher-paying jobs than the rest of the nation has since 2000, the authors say. Texas has also created more higher-paying than lower-paying jobs.

Still, broad trends causing labor market polarization—a hollowing out of middle-income wage groups—in the U.S. are also present in Texas, and the state would do well to make changes now, such as investing in higher education, that will bolster economic growth for the future, the authors state.

According to this issue’s “Spotlight” article, Dallas and Tarrant counties—the core of the DFW metro area—each have uninsured rates for health coverage that, were the local jurisdictions states, would rank them among the top 10 in the nation.

A key factor contributing to the high number of uninsured residents is the 18 percent foreign-born share of the DFW population, which typically have more-limited access to private insurance and government support.

This issue of Southwest Economy also features an “On the Record” conversation with Federal Reserve historian Gary Richardson.


Media contact:
Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288