Comptroller’s Weekly Economic Outlook
Updated October 7, 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 August 2015 Texas added an additional 1,169,100 jobs. The U.S. recovered all recession-hit jobs by May 2014 and by August 2015 added an additional 3,923,000 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 decreased by 13,700 jobs during August 2015. Between August 2014 and August 2015, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 217,700 jobs or 2 percent.
- The Texas unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for August 2015, down from 4.9 percent in August 2014.
- The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 104 consecutive months.
- A total of 8,114 building permits for single-family homes were issued in August 2015, 5.5 percent less than in August 2014. In the 12 months ending in August 2015, a total of 100,893 permits were issued, 6.87 percent more than in the previous year.
- There were 6,331 multi-family building permits issued in August 2015, 5.5 percent less than in August 2014. During the 12 months ending in August 2015, a total of 65,569 permits were issued, 1.96 percent less than in the previous year.
- In August 2015, there were 29,693 sales of existing single-family homes, 6.8 percent more than in August 2014
- The U.S. consumer confidence index was 103 in September 2015, up 1.7 percent from August 2015, and 15.8 percent higher than one year ago.
- The Texas region's consumer confidence index was 115.6 in September 2015, up 6.2 percent from August 2015, and 5.1 percent lower than one year ago.
- Oil and natural gas production tax collections for the first month of fiscal 2016 were 58 percent lower than collections during the same period in 2015.
- NYMEX Crude oil futures reached a settle price of $46.26 on October 5, 2015. The average crude oil futures settle price was $45.47 for September 2015.
- NYMEX Natural gas futures reached a settle price of $2.450 on October 5, 2015. The average natural gas settle price was $2.64 September 2015.
- Texas state sales tax receipts for August 2015 were 0.4 percent lower than for August 2014.
- Sales tax collections in fiscal 2015 through August were 3.9 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.