Job Numbers and Housing Market Propel the Texas Economy Forward
As the year is coming to an end, the Texas economy is still pressing forward but at a slower rate. The state is gaining jobs, unemployment is down and the housing market is still strong with higher than national average prices and a lower amount of inventory. What characteristics of the state’s economy are contributing to these numbers?
Job Growth and Employment
Job creation in the United States is still on the rise, with the country adding over 200,000 new jobs in November alone. According to the Texas Comptroller, the state added jobs in the top 9 out of 11 industries in the state.
The unemployment rate has been even with or below the average across the nation for the last 106 consecutive months. As seen in data reported by the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, Texas has seen most of its last quarter employment growth in the services industry, professional and business services as well as health and education services.
The state did see a loss of construction jobs throughout this year. The Associated General Contractors of America, who is the leading association for construction firms in the United States, reports that in October the San Antonio/New Braunfels area as well as the Austin - Round Rock area did gain jobs in this industry while other major metro areas in the state saw job losses. The losses are mostly contributed to the availability of skilled workers in the industry.
The housing market stayed high but is slowing seeing a year-over-year gain of 9.2 percent.
The major cities in Texas are the big contributors to this number. Per the A&M Real Estate Home, prices still climbing to due to the lack of inventory; 6.5 months is considered a healthy number, in September Texas, was at 3.5 months of inventory, which the report contributed to the lack of home lots and a labor shortage.
Home prices are still rising because of the low inventory in the state coupled with an increase in demand. These rising home prices are higher than in almost all other areas across the United States.
As reported by HousingWire in August, despite the falling oil prices here’s why the housing market is still going strong. "The impact of lower oil prices continues to be delayed, leading to a surprisingly strong second quarter. In fact, Texas home sales are actually stronger than they were this time last year when oil prices were near $100 a barrel," said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. "This is further evidence of the strong and enduring demand for Texas real estate."
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