Texas Employment ReportTexas Employment ReportLuis B. Torres and Joshua Roberson2021-07-20T05:00:00Ztechnical-report
Texas Economy

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  • Texas added 55,800 jobs in June, a 0.4 percent increase over May. However, its growth rate was lower than the nation's 0.6 percent.*
  • The state has gained jobs in 13 of the last 14 months.*
  • The Texas economy now needs to gain almost 345,700 jobs in the coming months to return to pre-pandemic levels.*
  • For the remainder of 2021, employment will benefit from increasing vaccination rates and a further round of federal government stimulus. This will allow the economy to fully reopen, benefiting services that cannot socially distance, such as leisure and hospitality.
  • Texas' unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent from in June, down 0.1 percentage point from a revised rate of 6.6 percent in May 2021. The state had a higher unemployment rate than the nation's 5.9 percent. The unemployment rate has a long way to drop to reach pre-pandemic levels of 3.7 percent.*
  • The states' labor force increased by 2,618 from June 2020 to June 2021, but it still needs an additional 111,074 to reach pre-pandemic levels.*
    • The longer people are out of work, the harder it is for them to find new employment as skills become inadequate. This can be reverted if programs are created to help retrain marginalized workers.
    • Women in the 25-to-34-year age group were more likely than men to leave their jobs to take care of children because of in-person school and daycare closures. This outcome should be reverted once schools and daycares return to in-person learning and caregiving.
  • Texas job openings reached record highs in March at 712,000, resulting in a record-high job openings rate of 5.4 percent, according to the most recent official numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    • Based on Texas Real Estate Research Center projections, Texas job openings could have risen further in May to 751,000.
    • Record job openings suggest that while the economy is still short of pre-COVID employment levels, it is not due to insufficient labor demand.
    • In addition to childcare, other factors affecting the transition from unemployment to employment could be the lingering pandemic, early retirement, and the possibility that people are rethinking their career paths.
    • Texas opted out of further federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic on June 26, 2021, to eliminate the incentive of remaining unemployed and increase the labor supply.
  • The labor force participation rate didn't change in June 2021, registering a downward trend since June 2020.*
  • The state's goods-producing sector added 2,600 jobs from May 2021 to June 2021. The majority of the gains came from both the manufacturing and mining and logging industries, which gained 3,000 and 2,900 jobs, respectively, while the construction sector lost 3,300 jobs and recorded three consecutive months of declines.*  
    • The construction sector registered both a monthly and annual decline of 0.5 and 0.01 percent, respectively.* 
    • It is the only sector that registered monthly and annual declines due to the negative effects of the pandemic on nonresidential construction.*
  • The state's service-providing sector added 53,200 jobs from May 2021 to June 2021.*
  • The leisure and hospitality sector continues to regain the jobs lost due to the pandemic, registering the highest annual growth rate in June 2021, but it still needs to gain 124,900 jobs in the coming months to return to pre-pandemic levels.*
  • Transportation, warehousing, and utilities; financial activities; and professional business services remain the only three sectors that recovered all the jobs lost due to the pandemic.
  • Due to the strong presence of the oil industry, Odessa continued to register annual job losses from June 2020 to June 2021. It's the only metropolitan area that continued to register annual negative growth but registered positive monthly growth with respect to May 2021.*
    • Oil prices above $60 a barrel have been accompanied by two months of consecutive job gains in the oil sector.
    • Still, no significant employment gains are expected if oil prices do not reach prices above $70 a barrel for a prolonged period.
  • Austin registered the highest annual growth rate of all Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) from June 2020 to June 2021. The metro benefited from its substantial high-tech sector, which can socially distance and has prospered during the pandemic.
  • El Paso registered the highest annual growth rate of Texas' four major border MSAs from June 2020 to June 2021.
  • Waco continues to be the only metropolitan area to have recovered all jobs lost due to the pandemic.*
  • Government employment increased both monthly and annually during June 2021 due to an increase in state and local government employment as government revenues improve due to the economic recovery.* 
  • May employment numbers were revised upward to 42,000 jobs, increasing 0.3 percent with respect to April.


* Anal​ysis based on seasonally adjusted labor force numbers and unemployment rates.

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Previous reports available: 

2021: January, February​, March​, April, May, June​

Digital and Print2303https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Employment-Report-2303 https://assets.recenter.tamu.edu/Documents/Articles/2303.pdf



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