Texas added 26,100 jobs in May and the state unemployment rate dropped slightly from 6.7% in April to 6.5% in May after the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released May employment numbers Friday.
But, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas also said its employment forecast weakened. Originally, the Texas Employment Forecast estimated that job growth would increase by 6.6% in 2021 when the April data was released.
After the May data release, the forecast declined to 4.1%.
"The forecast was revised down this month primarily due to an upward revision in the anticipated path of COVID-19 hospitalizations," said Keith Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist in a press release.
Phillips cited the slowing pace of COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant as two factors for the drop.
"While the percentage of Texans vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to increase, the pace of vaccinations has slowed, and the more contagious Delta variant is spreading," Phillips said. Together, these two patterns have changed the outlook for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the third quarter from a consistent downward trend to a slight increase through September."
The updated forecast predicts 510,500 jobs will be added in Texas this year, with employment numbers in December 2021 reaching 12.8 million.
With the addition of the May numbers, Texas has added 204,200 jobs.
Additional information about the May employment numbers as well as the Federal Reserve Bank's employment forecast can be found here.