Job growth, employment data point to a slowing Texas economy

Bernard Weinstein, economist at SMU's Cox School of Business, talks about the economy in Texas, and Austin, based on recent job and economic data.

By Kirk Ladendorf

There are signs of a slowdown in the Texas economy, as employment data released Friday for the state and Austin area seem to confirm that forecast by area economists.

The state as a whole added 2,500 jobs in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, which amounted to virtually zero growth, according to the monthly report of the Texas Workforce Commission.

Austin's job growth for the month was 3,300, down from a gain of 5,200 in September, according to commission data.

Bernard Weinstein, an economist at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business, said those job numbers are no surprise.

"I don't think there is any question that the Texas economy is slowing," Weinstein said. "Like it or not, we are part of the national economy."

Texas was outperforming the national economy two years ago, but the gap between the two has closed.

"We have seen modest job growth nationally, and we are seeing modest job growth in Texas," Weinstein said. "We are in a period of economic stagnation." ...