Texas made job gains in 19 of 20 consecutive months, unemployment falls to 5 percent

By Bethany Blankley 

Texas added 694,400 jobs since December 2020, reaching another record employment level of 13,059,600 total jobs, while it’s unemployment rate fell to 5%, according to state data.

Texas added 50,000 total nonagricultural jobs in December, making gains in 19 of the last 20 months.

“Seeing a second consecutive month of record-setting employment, with more than 13 million jobs, highlights the underlying strength of the Texas economy,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “This economic strength creates an environment for Texas employers to continue to create jobs and provide opportunities for the workforce in the Lone Star State.”

In December, the construction industry gained 10,400 jobs, trade, transportation, and utilities added 7,300 jobs, and financial activities added 7,200 jobs.

“After surpassing our pre-pandemic record employment high in November, career opportunities in Texas continued to grow in December,” TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez said. “Whether you’re looking to upskill in your current field or find training for a new career, TWC is here to support all Texans in their search for meaningful employment.”

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5%, the Texas Workforce Commission reported, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from November 2021.

The Amarillo and Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) recorded December’s lowest unemployment rates among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.9%, followed by College Station-Bryan at 3.2%, and Abilene and Lubbock at 3.3% each.

“The continued job growth we’ve seen in our Texas labor market is a true testament to the strength of our Texas employers, large and small,” TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson said. “In addition, the falling unemployment rate demonstrates Texans taking advantage of the numerous job and career opportunities provided by our Texas employers.”

The upstream oil and gas sector gained 3,000 jobs, representing an eighth consecutive month of job growth for the industry, since last April. The sector saw an increase of 27,800 jobs in December 2021 compared to December 2020.

According to an analysis by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), once the direct, indirect and induced impact of the upstream positions are incorporated, it calculates a multiplier effect of 6.8% per job for crude petroleum extraction, 5.2% for natural gas extraction, 2.4% for drilling oil and gas wells and 2% for the support activities for oil and gas operations sector.

"Oil and natural gas employment continues to rebound, providing quality, high-paying jobs to Texans throughout the state, and we expect that trend to continue. These employment opportunities also span across a spectrum of occupations, from laborers and roustabouts to software developers and electrical engineers," TIPRO President Ed Longanecker said. "We believe increasing global demand will outpace production as economic conditions improve, and oil inventories could hit their lowest level in over two decades this summer, likely driving commodity prices higher and accelerating exploration and production activity in the state, if the market demands it.”

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