Texas Economy Continues to Show Surprising Strength

The Texas economy defied expectations of a slowdown in the first half of 2019 and continued its torrid job growth, but San Antonio is not sharing in the success, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

In her report on the state's progress through the first two quarters, senior economist Laila Assanie of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports Texas job growth was the third strongest in the country, with a robust 2.7% growth.

"Texas job growth in the first half of the year outpaced the nation and its own long term trend rate," she said.

Assanie says with continued strong job and population growth spawing major building projects, construction remains a strong job creator, with the service industry also leading in job creation.

"Growth in manufacturing appears to be sluggish, which appears to be tied to a slowing energy sector," she said.

Oil and gas production remains strong, but job growth in the sector is slowing, as fracking firms learn how to operate with fewer workers. The falling price of oil in recent weeks has also slowed the opening of new wells.

Manufacturing is also being hurt by the tariff war underway between the U.S. and China, because, as the country's largest exporter, Texas is uniquely hurt by declined in international trade.

Dallas continues to be the strongest job creating metro, followed by Austin and Houston.

Job growth in the San Antonio metro is flat, Assanie said, due largely to weakness in the criticial leisure and hospitality sector, brought on largely by longer wait times at the Texas Mexico border.

The Dallas Fed expects job growth to slow from its current 2.7% pace down to 2.3% in the second half of the year, but that is still strong job creation performance, and a pace that is stronger than the nation as a whole.

IMAGE: GETTY

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