Texas Economic Growth in 2019 Seen as Slowing, But Still Stronger Than US

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas shows the Texas economy continues to grow, despite headwinds which are causing setbacks in some sectors, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Texas manufacturing production index averaged a '12' during the first three months of 2019, compared with last year's average of '22', Fed economist Jesus Canas said.

Canas several factors are weighing on Texas economic growth in the current year, including tariffs and trade issues which are hurting the critical manufacturing sector, and a predicted slowdown in oilfield activity in 2019.

Canas says all of that will affect the state's job growth, but it will remain above the national level.

"Texas jobs grew 1.9% annualized in the first quarter, above the nation's growth of 1.3%," he said.

Canas says there is no reason to believe that figure will not continue throughout the entire year, leading to strong job growth, but still lower than job growth in 2018.

Canas says the biggest factor affecting economic growth is the jobs which are not being created, due to employers unable to find skilled workers. He says fully 49% of Texas employers plan to add to their staff in 2019, but many of them say their growth prospects will be slowed by a lack of available workers.

And there is also the serious problem of what the Dallas Fed calls 'opportunity youth.' That is the large number of people between the ages of 18 and 30, as many as one in six, who are neither working or attending school. Analysts say they represent a drag on the state's economic growth at a time when they should be moving into their peak years of productivity and earnings.

San Antonio is the number one city in the state when it comes to the number of rootless 'opportunity youth' in the economy.

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