A Deeper Dive into Jobs
Texas replaced all of its recession-hit jobs by December 2011
The number of Texas workers reached an all-time high of 10.65 million in December 2011, a sign that employers are looking at the recent recession through a rear-view mirror.
The Texas Workforce Commission’s December 2011 employment statement reported Texas added more than 200,000 jobs in 2011. This restored the state to its pre-recession employment levels by replacing the remainder of the 427,600 jobs lost during late 2008 and throughout 2009. The two-year recovery to this point puts Texas well ahead of the national job market, which is finding it more difficult to regain jobs at the rate of Texas; just 30 percent of jobs shed nationally during the recession have been restored.
Wide variety of jobs added
Most employment sectors added workers in 2011. Particularly strong were the mining and logging sector (bolstered by oil and natural gas sector industries) that added more than 40,000 jobs and grew by 18.7 percent; professional and business services (53,100 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (41,200 jobs), which chipped in 4.1 percent and 4 percent growth, respectively, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector which added nearly 46,000 workers.
Three sectors saw a decline in employment during 2011: government shed almost 56,000 workers, while the much smaller construction (-6,300) and information (-7,900) sectors reduced workers, too.
Jobless rate drops below 8 percent
The Texas unemployment rate has held consistently below the national rate for five years, but stubbornly held above 8 percent for more than two of them. December hiring helped reduce the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent, the lowest level since July 2009, some good news for Texas jobseekers.
More jobs still needed
The gradual return to an employment level of summer 2008 does not confirm the economy has regained the vibrancy enjoyed prior to the recession.
Certainly many more jobs are needed as the Texas economy continues to recover. Since the economic downturn took hold, the state’s population has continued to increase. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Texas added 421,000 people from July 2010 to July 2011, more than any other state and 19 percent of the total U.S. population increase in that period.
For more analysis on Texas employment, read the Texas Workforce Commission’s monthly Texas Labor Market Review.