The most recent employment data indicates that the pace of hiring in Texas has slowed. In September, 40,700 net new jobs were added, compared to 111,900 in August. Moreover, the unemployment rate rose and is now higher than the national level. While this slowing is not good news, it was not unexpected.
May and June jobs reports for Texas and the state's largest metropolitan areas were encouraging and reflect the fact that as businesses began to reopen, what was essentially a sound economy before the pandemic responded relatively quickly. Nonetheless, employment remains well below pre-COVID-19 levels. The Perryman Group's latest forecast calls for significant year-over-year losses for 2020, but notable recovery next year. If additional interruptions are required as a result of the recent surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Texas, the annual declines will escalate.
The most recent US jobs reports indicate significant gains and decreasing unemployment, but the total increase over the past two months is far below losses during March and April. Moreover, the recent increase in COVID-19 infections may cause the recovery to slow. The situation remains challenging and fluid, and the recovery will likely be bumpy.
Dr. Perryman is embarking on his 36th annual Outlook Conference, and he has a preview of what he will be sharing with audiences.
With its positive growth, the December jobs report made it 75 consecutive months of growth, the longest stretch since 1939. Dr. Perryman says it is up to Donald Trump to keep it going.
The last two (May and June) Texas jobs reports were encouraging, reflecting the fact that, as businesses began to reopen, what was essentially a sound economy before the pandemic responded relatively quickly. However, even with these gains, Texas is nonetheless almost 700,000 jobs below a year ago and about 900,000 below the level just before the outbreak began.
The US economy is on fairly solid ground, and our latest forecast calls for moderate growth over the long-term horizon. There are several areas of concern and business cycles are inevitable, but on balance, I expect improvement in the years to come.