Texas Economy Remains Strong Despite Challenges

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

Despite hiccups in the oil and manufacturing sectors, the quarterly Texas Economic Update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas shows continued strong growth in the state, although not as strong as we have seen in the early part of 2018, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

'We continue to grow at a very rapid rate," Senior Economist Pia Orrenius said.  "Over the summer, we expanded at a 2.8% job growth rate.  Now, that is not as strong as the first half of the year, when growth was a red hot 3.5%, but it is still a very high rate--much higher than the nation."

She says there is a shortage of workers, especially skilled workers, across the state, and that is the largest headwind that the Texas economy is facing in continuing to growth at a 3% or higher rate.

"We saw in August that the Texas unemployment rate slipped under 4% to 3.9%, and we have several large metropolitan areas in Texas that are far under the state average."

Even the bad news is good for Texas workers.

"Since the recession, wage increases in Texas have either been slow to materialize or hard to measure, but that may be changing," she said.

She cites several reports showing 'record wage growth' in jobs' as a sign that wages are rising.

She says in addition to a shortage of workers, there are several other potential challenges the Texas economy is facing.  She cites higher interest rates, as well as the rising price of housing, which is getting to the point that it could discourage potential employers from locating or growing in the state.

IMAGE: GETTY



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