After breaking previous records in May, Texas’ unemployment rate once again fell to a new historic low of 3.4% in June, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
The then all-time low set in May was 3.5%, a number not seen in the state since it started keeping track in 1976.
“It’s a red-hot economy,” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas senior economist Pia Orrenius said.
Employers in the state added 45,000 jobs in June, and 315,600 over the last year, according to TWC. Dallas-Fort Worth accounted for 14,400 of the new jobs.
Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the growth Friday by tweeting: “BOOM: Texas just shattered the state’s previous all-time low unemployment rate and again leads the nation in job creation over the last 12 months.”
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) July 19, 2019
TWC chair Ruth R. Hughs called it an “historic win for employers and workers across the state.”
The biggest growth came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 10,500 jobs in June. Leisure and hospitality was close behind, adding 10,000 jobs.
The jobless rate in Dallas-Fort Worth stood at 3.3% in June, up from 2.7% in May.
Texas job growth coupled with its shrinking unemployment may look like a good thing on its face, but its a trend that’s also concerned economists as a tight job market could push labor costs up for companies and make it increasingly difficult to operate.
“We have this fast growing economy – especially in the labor market – but we don’t have some of the growth engines that usually help us,” Orrenius said, pointing to signs of weakness in the energy sector and in exports.
The Dallas Fed’s June energy survey provided a pessimistic outlook for the energy industry. It forecast declines in capital expenditures, declines in employment and flat business activity. In June, the energy industry added 1,100 jobs.
“Energy is still a big deal in Texas, and it’s hard for us to grow a lot faster than the rest of the nation if energy’s not doing well,” Orrenius said.