Report shows Texas a main engine of U.S. job growth

October 29, 2010
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Steve Campbell

Texas created more than half the jobs in the nation over the last year, according to a report released Thursday.

In the monthly review of the Texas economy for October, Ali Anari and Mark Dotzour of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University reported that the state added 166,000 jobs during the year ending in September for an annual growth rate of 1.6 percent.

During the same period, the U.S. economy gained 321,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 0.2 percent.

The private sector is driving job creation in Texas, Anari said in a statement.

"The private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 1.9 percent compared with 0.5 percent for the U.S. private sector during the year," he said.

Every metro area in Texas except Lubbock had more jobs in September 2010 than in September 2009.

Waco topped the list with a 2.4 percent growth rate, followed by Austin (2.3 percent), Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood (2.3 percent), College Station (2 percent) and McAllen (2 percent).

The four biggest metro areas didn't fare as well, with Dallas gaining 1 percent, Fort Worth-Arlington adding 0.9 percent, San Antonio up 0.7 percent and Houston at 0.1 percent. Lubbock dropped 0.2 percent.

"All Texas industries except trade, construction and information had more jobs in September 2010 than they did 12 months earlier," Anari said.

Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas drilling, led in job creation with a 14.1 percent gain (27,900 jobs). The average number of active rigs increased from 379 in October 2009 to 688 this month, according to Hughes Tool Co.

Government, the biggest employment sector in the state with 1,817,700 jobs, increased 0.6 percent (10,900 jobs).

The biggest decrease was in the information industry, including Internet service providers, Web search portals, publishing, broadcasting and telecommunications. The sector's employment dropped by 7.3 percent (14,600 jobs) to 186,200 jobs.

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