Hospitality, construction hiring propel Texas to 111th straight month of job gains

By John Suayan

Texas' decade-long streak of adding hospitality and construction jobs continued in July.

For a second consecutive month, the unemployment rate remained at 3.4 percent, matching the lowest rate ever recorded, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).  The Lone Star State in July also experienced a 111th straight month of annual job gains.

About 8,300 leisure and hospitality jobs were added in July, the largest jump in more than three years. Not far behind is construction, with a little more than 6,600 jobs filled last month. The TWC said that the annual growth of 6.6 percent in the sector is “the fastest pace of any sector.”

The job spikes in the hospitality and construction industries contributed to the more than 30,000 jobs the state added since July 1. Employers added about 320,000 jobs in Texas so far in 2019.

“It is remarkable and a testament to the strength of our industries that Texas continues to maintain a historic low unemployment rate of 3.4%,” TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs said in a release. “Our economy remains strong as a result of the continuing growth of our Texas employers and our thriving industries.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, however, did not paint a rosy picture for energy job growth in Texas. According to the BLS, the decline in annual gains in mining and logging continued as July only saw a rate of 3.6 percent, a far cry from 8.2 percent earlier this year.

While the state has a 3.4 percent unemployment rate, its largest city, Houston, has a 4 percent unemployment rate. The figure is a decrease from 4.5 percent in July 2018.

The national unemployment rate in July was 3.7 percent.