Metro San Antonio Unemployment Falls to Near Record Lows

The Metro San Antonio-New Braunfels unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, that is near a record low for the metro, and the second lowest urban unemployment rate in Texas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The Dallas Fed says the state as a whole added 42,500 new jobs in April, meaning Texas accounted for one of every four new jobs created nationwide last month.

That amounts to an annualized growth rate of 3.7%, which is very vigorous.  The Dallas Fed says the state's robust job growth is not expected to taper off much for the rest of 2018.

Driving this strong job growth is the revival of the oil industry.  Thanks to $70 crude, fracking fields in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford are springing back to life, and Houston, which is the nerve center for the nation's oil and gas industry, is the fastest growing major metro area in Texas, with job growth of 4.7%.

Only Austin-Round Rock, which had an April unemployment rate of 3.0%, had a lower unemployment rate among the major metro areas than San Antonio.

Even the Rio Grande urban areas, which usually show high unemployment, are benefitting from the boom. El Paso's jobless rate in April fell to 4.5%, Laredo fell to 3.8%, and even McAllen Edinburg, which generally has double digit unemployment, is recording unemployment of 6.9%.

Economists generally consider unemployment at 4% or lower to be 'full employment,' due to the normal churn of the work cycle, with people voluntarily between jobs, on sabbaticals or on maternity or FMLA leave.

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