Comptroller’s Weekly Economic Outlook
Over the past year, Texas added jobs in 7 of the 11 major industries, including professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, construction, financial activities, and other services. Pre-recession Texas employment peaked at 10,639,900 in August 2008, a level that was surpassed in November 2011, and by January 2016 Texas added an additional 1,322,600 jobs. . The U.S. recovered all recession-hit jobs by April 2014 and by January 2016 added an additional 4,856,000 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 151,000 nonfarm jobs in February 2016 and the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent. Between February 2016 and February 2015, U.S. total nonfarm employment increased 1.9 percent.
- Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 2,100 jobs during February 2016. Between February 2015 and February 2016, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 170,900 jobs or 1.4 percent.
- The Texas unemployment rate was 4.4 percent for February 2016, equal to the 4.4 percent rate in February 2015.
- The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 110 consecutive months.
- A total of 8140 building permits for single-family homes were issued in February 2016, 15.6 percent more than in February 2015. In the 12 months ending in February 2016, a total of 99,622 permits were issued, 1 percent less than in the previous year.
- There were 4,091 multi-family building permits issued in February 2016, 22.2 percent less than in February 2015. During the 12 months ending in February 2016, a total of 67,647 permits were issued, 1.7 percent more than in the previous year.
- In February 2016, there were 20,384 sales of existing single-family homes, 8.9 percent more than in February 2015. During the 12 months ending in February 2016, a total of 311,899 existing single-family homes were sold, 4.9 percent more than in the previous year.
- The U.S. consumer confidence index was 96.2 in March 2016, up 2.4 percent from February 2016, and 5.1 percent lower than one year ago.
- The Texas region's consumer confidence index was 99.1 in March 2016, down 6.6 percent from February 2016, and 22.1 percent lower than one year ago.
- Oil and natural gas production tax collections for the first seven months of fiscal 2016 were 50 percent lower than collections during the same period in 2015.
- NYMEX Crude oil futures reached a settle price of $38.34 on March 31, 2016. The average crude oil futures settle price was $37.96 for March 2016.
- NYMEX Natural gas futures reached a settle price of $1.9590 on March 31, 2016. The average natural gas settle price was $1.81 March 2016.
- Total state sales tax collections for March 2016 were 2.1 percent higher than in March 2015.
- For fiscal 2016 through March 2016, total state sales tax collections were 2.6 percent below the same period in 2015.
- Texas motor vehicle sales and rental tax collections for March 2016 were up 2.6 percent from March 2015.