Texas Employment ReportTexas Employment ReportLuis B. Torres and Joshua Roberson2021-09-28T05:00:00Ztechnical-report
Texas Economy

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  • Texas added 39,300 jobs in August, a 0.3 percent increase over July. It exceeded  the nation's growth rate of 0.2 percent.
  • The state has gained jobs in 15 of the last 16 months.
  • The Texas economy now needs to gain almost 209,700 jobs to return to pre- pandemic levels.
  • Texas' unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in August, down 0.3 percentage points from 6.2 percent the previous month. The state had a higher unemployment rate than the nation's 5.2 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 22,874 from July 2021 to August 2021, but it still needs an additional 53,950 workers 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 in the coming months after schools and daycares returned to in-person learning and caregiving during August.
  • 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.
  • The labor force participation rate didn't change in August 2021, remain​ing at 62.3 percent. It has trended downward since June 2020.
  • The state's goods-producing sector added 1,000 jobs from July 2021 to August 2021. The majority of the gains came from the mining and logging industry and the construction industry, which gained 2,900 and 300 jobs, respectively. Construction stopped losing jobs in August after recording four consecutive months of declines. The manufacturing sector lost 2,200 jobs.
  • The state's service-providing sector added 38,300 jobs from July 2021 to August 2021.
  • The effects of the upsurge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the presence of the Delta variant can be observed in the loss of 25,600 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector during August. This sector registered strong job growth the previous five months. It now needs to gain 128,200 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 jobs lost due to the pandemic.
  • Midland registered the highest annual growth rate of all Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) from August 2020 to August 2021.*
    • Oil prices above $60 a barrel have been accompanied by four months of consecutive job gains in the oil sector.
    • No significant employment gains are expected if oil prices do not exceed $70 a barrel for a prolonged period.
  • Austin-Round Rock registered the highest annual growth rate of Texas' four major MSAs from August 2020 to August 2021. The metro benefited from its substantial high-tech sector, which can socially distance and has prospered during the pandemic.*
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission registered the highest annual growth rate of Texas' four major border MSAs from August 2020 to August 2021.*
  • Amarillo and Austin joined Sherman-Denison, Tyler, and Waco as the only metropolitan areas to have recovered all jobs lost due to the pandemic.
  • Government employment increased monthly but not annually during August 2021 as a result of monthly increases in federal, state, and local government employment as government revenues improve due to the economic recovery.


Note: All measurements are calculated using seasonally adjusted data unless stated otherwise.

* Analysis based on nonseasonally adjusted data.

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Previous reports available: ​

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

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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