Comptroller’s Weekly Economic Outlook
Updated November 30, 2015
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 October 2015 Texas added an additional 1,208,600 jobs. The U.S. recovered all recession-hit jobs by May 2014 and by October 2015 added an additional 4,289,000 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 271,000 nonfarm jobs in October 2015 and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. Between October 2015 and October 2014, U.S. total nonfarm employment increased 2 percent.
- Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 20,000 jobs during October 2015. Between October 2014 and October 2015, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 203,900 jobs or 1.7 percent.
- The Texas unemployment rate was 4.4 percent for October 2015, down from 4.7 percent in October 2014.
- The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 106 consecutive months.
- A total of 8,280 building permits for single-family homes were issued in October 2015, 1.43 percent less than in October 2014. In the 12 months ending in October 2015, a total of 101,033 permits were issued, 3.99 percent more than in the previous year.
- There were 6,014 multi-family building permits issued in October 2015, 22.3 percent more than in October 2014. During the 12 months ending in October 2015, a total of 66,859 permits were issued, 2.92 percent more than in the previous year.
- In October 2015, there were 24,077 sales of existing single-family homes, 2.09 percent less than in October 2014. During the 12 months ending in October 2015, a total of 295,065 existing single-family homes were sold, 4.4 percent more than in the previous year.
- The U.S. consumer confidence index was 90.4 in November 2015, down 8.8 percent from October 2015, and 0.7 percent lower than one year ago.
- The Texas region's consumer confidence index was 101.2 in November 2015, down 12.4 percent from October 2015, and 15.5 percent lower than one year ago.
- Oil and natural gas production tax collections for the first two months of fiscal 2016 were 53 percent lower than collections during the same period in 2015.
- NYMEX Crude oil futures reached a settle price of $41.71 on November 27, 2015. The average crude oil futures settle price was $46.29 for October 2015.
- NYMEX Natural gas futures reached a settle price of $2.212 on November 27, 2015. The average natural gas settle price was $2.39 October 2015.
- Texas state sales tax receipts for October 2015 were 5.4 percent lower than for October 2014.
- Sales tax collections in fiscal 2016 through October were 1.9 percent below collections for the same period in fiscal 2015.
- Texas motor vehicle sales and rental tax collections for October 2015 were down 0.2 percent from October 2014.