Texas Economy Receives Good News

Texas Employment Index
Texas Employment Index

The Texas economy got some good news this week with new data revealing an increase in the production index and a steady unemployment rate.

Related: Texas Economy Declines

It's no secret that the prolonged oil downturn has been devastating to some producers and communities who rely heavily on oil and gas activity. Earlier this month, Comerica Bank reported the Texas region's consumer confidence index was 101.2 in November 2015, down 12.4 percent from October 2015, and 15.5 percent lower than one year ago. But there is some good news.

In a recent survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, business executives expressed optimism regarding future business conditions. The index of future general business activity rose three points to 7.3, and the index of future company outlook rose six points to 16.2.  The survey also revealed that factory activity across the state of Texas increased for the second consecutive month in November.

Through October, the Texas’ unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent, with unemployment in urban economies being particularly low:

  • Austin: 3.3%
  • San Antonio: 3.7%
  • Dallas: 3.9%
  • Houston: 4.6%
Labor market indicators reflected a notable rise in November. The employment index posted a double-digit increase to 11.6, its highest reading since August 2014. Twenty-four percent of firms noted net hiring, while 12 percent noted net layoffs. The hours worked index also rose sharply to a high not seen in more than a year, coming in at 9.9.