Texas added 110,800 jobs in March, according to seasonally adjusted and benchmarked payroll employment numbers released Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
The state lost a revised 14,300 jobs in February, and it has added 142,200 jobs since the beginning of 2021.
Based on national forecasts, COVID-19 hospitalizations, and oil futures prices, the Texas Employment Forecast estimates that job growth will increase by 6.6% in 2021, with an 80% confidence band of 5.6 to 7.6%, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said.
"Jobs rebounded strongly in March as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fell sharply and mobility increased," Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist, said. "Job gains were broad-based across industries with particular strength in construction, leisure and hospitality and oil and gas jobs.
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According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the forecast suggests that, 816,400 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2021 will be 13.2 million.
"Continued strong demand for new single-family homes and for home repair from Winter Storm Uri drove construction jobs, while dropping COVID-19 cases and gains in the number of people vaccinated likely drove the demand for restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality industries," Phillips said. "The improvement in energy-sector jobs is consistent with the rise in oil prices this year and increased optimism expressed in the first-quarter Dallas Fed Energy Survey."
Unemployment rates fell in eight of the nine major Texas metropolitan areas in March, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The unemployment rate was flat in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.
The Texas unemployment rate held constant at 6.9% in March, and a moderate gain in the labor force offset a rise in household employment.
"As long as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, we should see further strengthening of job growth going forward," Phillips said.