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Texas Adds Jobs In July, While Houston Takes A Smaller-Than-Expected Hit

Surprise gains in manufacturing help offset Greater Houston’s usual summer job losses in education.


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The Texas Workforce Commission reports the state added 31,400 jobs in July. That puts the Lone Star State a distant second to California in the national rankings by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"What we've experienced over the last few years was just absolutely incredible," says Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president for research at the Greater Houston Partnership. "We can't expect that to keep on forever. I mean, growth would have slowed down even if we hadn't had the drop in oil prices, simply because we would not have had enough workers to fill all the slots that are out there."

The Houston metro area lost 4,900 jobs over the course of the month. Most of those losses were seasonal, the result of teachers having the summer off. "If we kept with historical pace, we should have seen a loss of about 13,000 jobs," Jankowski says, "so just a loss of 4,900 is actually a good sign."

Offsetting the losses in education were unexpected gains in goods production – a category that includes manufacturing, construction, and oil and gas – as well as in health care and retail. Goods production posted net job losses in May and June.

Greater Houston unemployment registered 4.7 percent for the month – above the Texas average of 4.2 percent, but below the national rate of 5.3 percent.

Employment Report