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Dallas Fed: Texas 'Jobs Rebounded Strongly In March'

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas added 110,800 jobs in March, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released Friday, April 16 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The state lost a revised 14,300 jobs in February and has added 142,200 jobs year-to-date.

Using a top-down model based on national forecasts, COVID-19 hospitalizations and oil futures prices, the Texas Employment Forecast estimates that job growth will increase by 6.6 percent in 2021, with an 80 percent confidence band of 5.6 to 7.6 percent.

Based on the forecast, 816,400 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2021 will be 13.2 million, the Dallas Fed said in a news release.

Due mostly to the stronger than expected growth in March, the forecast improved moderately from the 6.0 percent estimated with the release of the February data.

"Jobs rebounded strongly in March as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fell sharply and mobility increased," said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. "Job gains were broad-based across industries with particular strength in construction, leisure and hospitality and oil and gas jobs.

"Continued strong demand for new single-family homes and for home repair from Winter Storm Uri drove construction jobs, while dropping COVID-19 cases and gains in the number of people vaccinated likely drove the demand for restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality industries. The improvement in energy-sector jobs is consistent with the rise in oil prices this year and increased optimism expressed in the first-quarter Dallas Fed Energy Survey."

Additional key takeaways from the latest Dallas Fed report:

High-frequency data for April suggest continued strength in jobs. "As long as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, we should see further strengthening of job growth going forward," Phillips said.

The Texas Leading Index increased for the eleventh consecutive month, with a majority of the eight components giving positive contributions to the index.

Unemployment rates fell in eight of the nine major Texas metro areas in March, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Dallas Fed. The unemployment rate was flat in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.

The Texas unemployment rate held constant at 6.9 percent in March. A moderate gain in the labor force offset a rise in household employment.


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