COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy is cooling but continues to create jobs. While the U.S. economy lost more than 2.8 million jobs from December 2007 to December 2008, Texas gained 154,600 jobs over the same period.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.2 percent in December 2007 to 6 percent in December 2008. By comparison, the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.9 percent to 7.2 percent during the same period.
Recent decreases in oil prices have begun to adversely affect the Texas oil and natural gas industry’s ability to generate jobs. The industry’s employment increased 3.7 percent from December 2007 to December 2008, a drop from 7.1 percent for the period November 2007 to November 2008. Even so, the industry ranked first among Texas industries in employment growth rate.
The professional and business services industry and the leisure and hospitality industry posted annual employment growth rates of 3.3 percent from December 2007 to December 2008 and ranked second among Texas industries in job creation.
All Texas metros experienced positive employment growth rates from December 2007 to December 2008. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission ranked first in job creation followed by College Station–Bryan, Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, and Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood.
The state’s actual unemployment rate in December 2008 was 5.7 percent. Midland had the first lowest unemployment rate followed by Amarillo, Lubbock, Odessa and College Station–Bryan.