Texas Leads the Way on Jobs Recovery
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Dallas Fed economists recently looked at state-by-state employment changes since June 2009, when the recession ended. Texas added 265,300 net jobs, out of the 722,200 nationwide, and by far outpaced every other state. New York was second with 98,200, Pennsylvania added 93,000, and it falls off from there. Nine states created fewer than 10,000 jobs, while Maine, Hawaii, Delaware and Wyoming created fewer than 1,000. Eighteen states have lost jobs since the recovery began.
The U.S. national office vacancy rate barely budged during the first quarter, shifting just one basis point higher (100 basis points equals one percent). First-quarter data confirms our view that the U.S. office market recovery will be uneven in nature and fairly volatile.
Texas is a clear leader in terms of office market fundamental with Houston, Austin and Dallas all exhibiting solid job growth in both overall as well as office using employment. Professional and Business Services in Texas expanded by 8,000 jobs in April, following a gain of 12,400 jobs in March. This was the third consecutive month of growth for the industry which has posted monthly increases in 16 of the past 19 months. Annual growth in the industry climbed slightly in April to reach 57,900 jobs and annual growth rate of 4.6 percent, the highest rate seen in Professional and Business Services since February 2008. I should note not all office using employment is categorized as Professional Business Services, so the broader labor figures bode well for the office market as well. The Texas job numbers for May will be released this Friday.