2017 Texas Employment Data Revisions2017 Texas Employment Data RevisionsAli Anari and Luis B. Torres2017-05-30T05:00:00Zresearch-article
Texas Economy
The Takea​way​​

Initial employment data is revised three times per year. The Center monitors the revisions to ensure the most recent and reliable data. ​​

Research projects conducted at the Real Estate Ce​nter at Texas A&M University use time series data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and other government and nongovernment agencies. Most of economic tim​e series data undergo revisions each year. Consequently, revised data may be different from first and subsequent releases, and the difference may be substantial. ​

These data revisions make life more difficult for economic analysts and other users of economic data, especially when past time series data are used for forecasting purposes, because the uncertain future is compounded by the uncertain past. The main purpose of revisions is to improve the accuracy and quality of the data.

The Center monitors the data it uses and reviews, analyzes, and reports significant changes when data are revised. This article reports significant changes in Texas employment data used in monthly reviews of the Texas economy and other studies. In the first four months of each year, the BLS and the Texas Workforce Commission revise and update time series of employment on both the national and local levels. Our analysis shows that pre-2016 employment data series have not changed significantly after the March 2017 revisions. Consequently, this article focuses on comparing 2016 employment data before and after the latest revisions.

Texas Total Non​​farm Employment, Pre-Revision and Post-Revision

Panel A of Table 1 presents Texas total nonfarm employment before and after 2017 revisions. This represents an important economic indicator, giving a “big picture" of Texas' employment and economy. The state's total nonfarm employment revised up for the first five months of 2016 and down for the rest of 2016 (Figure 1). For the whole of 2016, the average annual level of Texas total nonfarm employment was revised down by 3,930 jobs from a pre-revision 12,032,330 jobs to the post-revision of 12,028,400 jobs, or –0.03 percent. So on an aggregate basis, there was not a significant change in the level of Texas total nonfarm employment in 2016. However, computations of employment growth rates based on monthly data are expected to result in growth rates, which may differ from those computed from previous data releases.

Employment ​​​Revision by Industry

Panel B of Table 1 shows the state's industries and the government sector ranked by the percentage of revised jobs. The table is divided into revised ups in Panel B1 and revised downs in Panel B2. In terms of the percentage of revised jobs, the state's transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry ranked first in upward revision followed by the government sector, construction, professional and business services, and the information industry. In terms of the average annual number of jobs, the state's government sector experienced the largest upward revision by 33,130 jobs followed by the transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry (22,120 jobs), construction (9,960 jobs), professional and business services (8,270 jobs), and the information industry (360 jobs).

The number of jobs was revised up for all months in 2016 in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry, the government sector, the construction industry, and professional and business services (Figures 1.2 to 1.5). The number of jobs in the state's information industry was revised up for the first eight months of 2016 and down for the rest of the year (Figure 1.6).

The number of total nonfarm jobs was revised down for seven Texas industries (Panel B2 of Table 1 and Figures 1.7 to 1.13). In terms of the percentage of jobs, the state's other services industry and manufacturing had the smallest downward revisions followed by leisure and hospitality, education and health services, financial activities, trade, and mining and logging. In terms of the average annual number of jobs, the state's trade industry experienced the largest downward revision (–39,750 jobs) followed by education and health services (–14,360), mining and logging (–8,500), leisure and hospitality (–7,320), financial activities (–6,560), manufacturing (–1,010), and other services (–210).

Employment R​​​evision by Metropolitan Area

Table 2 presents Texas metropolitan areas ranked by the percentage size of revisions of the total number of nonfarm jobs. The number of total nonfarm jobs was revised up for nine Texas metropolitan areas (Panel A of Table 2 and Figures 2.1 to 2.9) while 17 metropolitan areas were revised down (Panel B of Table 2 and Figures 2.10, 2.26). Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood ranked first in terms of percentage upward revision followed by San Antonio, Lubbock, Tyler, Waco, and Austin-Round Rock. In average annual number of jobs, San Antonio had the largest number of revised up jobs (13,310 jobs) followed by Austin-Round Rock (7,750 jobs), Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood (1,970 jobs), Tyler (1,150 jobs), and Waco (988 jobs).   

In percentage of jobs revised down, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan areas had the smallest downward revision, followed by El Paso, Dallas-Plano-Irving, Fort Worth-Arlington, Brownsville-Harlingen, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission (Panel B of Table 2). Victoria experienced the largest percentage of downward revision followed by Odessa, Midland, Corpus Christi, and Longview. The large downward revisions for Victoria, Midland, and Odessa were mainly due to the impact of lower oil prices on their local economies. In terms of the average annual number of jobs, Dallas-Plano-Irving had the largest number of revised down jobs (–7,910), followed by Corpus Christi (–6,750), Odessa (–3.530), Midland
(–3,460), and Longview (–3,420).


Dr. Anari (m-anari@tamu.edu) and Dr. Torres (ltorres@mays.tamu.edu) are research economists with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. 

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2017 Texas Employment Data Revisions2017 Texas Employment Data RevisionsTexas Economy



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