Comptroller’s Weekly Economic Outlook
Updated September 2, 2015
Job growth, sales tax collections and building permits all signal that the Texas economy continues to outpace the national economy.
Over the past year, Texas added jobs in 9 of the 11 major industries, including professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, construction, government, financial activities, information, and other services. Pre-recession Texas employment peaked at 10,638,100 in August 2008, a level that was surpassed in November 2011, and by July 2015 Texas added an additional 1,188,400 jobs. The U.S. recovered all recession-hit jobs by May 2014 and by July 2015 added an additional 3,706,000 jobs.
Texas and the nation returned to economic growth in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In calendar 2014, Texas real gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent, compared with 2.39 percent for the U.S.
- The U.S. added 215,000 nonfarm jobs in August 2015 and the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent. Between August 2015 and August 2014, U.S. total nonfarm employment increased 1.7 percent.
- Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 31,400 jobs during July 2015. Between July 2014 and July 2015, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 236,500 jobs or 2 percent.
- The Texas unemployment rate was 4.2 percent for July 2015, down from 5.0 percent in July 2014.
- The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 103 consecutive months.
- A total of 8,915 building permits for single-family homes were issued in July 2015, 3.8 percent less than in July 2014. In the 12 months ending in July 2015, a total of 101,271 permits were issued, 8.1 percent more than in the previous year.
- There were 5,786 multi-family building permits issued in July 2015, 30.7 percent more than in July 2014. During the 12 months ending in July 2015, a total of 65,913 permits were issued, 3.2 percent more than in the previous year.
- In July 2015, there were 32,202 sales of existing single-family homes, 11.2% percent more than in July 2014.
- The U.S. consumer confidence index was 101.5 in August 2015, up 11.6 percent from July 2015, and 8.7 percent higher than one year ago.
- The Texas region's consumer confidence index was 106.9 in August 2015, down 3 percent from July 2015, and 12 percent lower than one year ago.
- Oil and natural gas production tax collections for fiscal 2015 were 28 percent lower than collections during fiscal 2014.
- NYMEX Crude oil futures reached a settle price of $49.20 on August 31, 2015. The average crude oil futures settle price was $42.89 for August 2015.
- NYMEX Natural gas futures reached a settle price of $2.689 on August 31, 2015. The average natural gas settle price was $2.75 August 2015.
- Texas state sales tax receipts for July 2015 were 2.7 percent higher than for July 2014.
- Sales tax collections in fiscal 2015 through July were 4.4 percent above collections for the same period in fiscal 2014.
- Texas motor vehicle sales and rental tax collections for April 2015 were up 19.88 percent from April 2014.