July 12, 2012
By Sheryl Jean
When Texas’ jobs data for June is released in two weeks, economists expect moderate increases after Friday’s report of the nation’s tepid employment growth for the same month.
“My expectation is that we will continue to see moderate job growth in Texas, but certainly the weaker U.S. numbers over the past four months will show up here as well,” said Robert Dye, chief economist for Comerica Bank. “I expect Texas to be an above-average performer” compared with other states.
The nation’s employers added 80,000 jobs in June, but the number of unemployed workers stayed about the same, at 12.7 million, the Labor Department said Friday. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent.
Mine Yücel, a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said Texas’ job growth could be slightly better than the nation’s 0.72 percent annualized growth rate for June. The Fed’s Texas Manufacturing Survey in June showed employment and work hours increased at a faster rate in June than in May, she said.
“We’ve seen a pretty positive trend in the marketplace in permanent and temporary hiring,” said Mitch Hagen, branch manager of Robert Half International’s staffing office in Dallas. Manufacturing and oil and gas-related companies are hiring the most, he added.
In May, Texas added 12,500 jobs, the 22nd straight month of job gains, but that was less than April’s 14,800 jobs. Texas’ jobless rate was 6.9 percent.
Most states, including Texas, appear to be following the national employment pattern of stronger growth in the winter through February and slower growth in the second quarter, local economists say.
In the first quarter, Texas gained 99,200 jobs, for a monthly average of 33,066. In April and May combined, the state added 27,300.
Texas is not immune to national and global headwinds. Southern Methodist University economist Bernard Weinstein noted that companies are reluctant to hire because of Europe’s debt woes, slowing growth in Asia, potential tax increases and uncertainty about the upcoming U.S. presidential election....