Texas unemployment rate hits 40 year low

San Antonio Express-News:
The unemployment rate in Texas fell to the lowest level on record last month as the manufacturing and service sectors continued to gain traction and the state bounced back from Hurricane Harvey.

The November jobless rate fell to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in October, the lowest since the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas started keeping records in January 1976 when the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent. The rate for the San Antonio metro area, which takes in New Braunfels, held steady at 3.8 percent.

“Today’s announcement of our record low unemployment rate is further proof that the Texas model of low taxes and reasonable regulations is working better than ever,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release. “This record of 3.8 percent is also a testament to our diverse and talented workforce that is attracting new businesses to the state every day and driving our booming economy.”

The unemployment rate remained well below the long-term average of 6.0 percent and below the national average of 4.1 percent. The tight labor market is making it difficult for employers to find qualified workers and putting pressure them to raise wages.

“I think we’re seeing wage pressures across many industries,” said Keith Phillips, assistant vice president for the bank’s San Antonio branch. “There’s continued good news on the job front and a little bit of extra kick to San Antonio to kind of help rebuild the Gulf Coast and also to house the residents as they rebuild their homes.”

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, nine of 11 major industry sectors added positions. The state’s annual employment growth was 2.7 percent, making for 91 consecutive months of annual growth.
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That is over seven and a half years of economic growth for Texas.  The tighter job market also should lead to higher paychecks at the same time that tax cuts will also push up workers takehome pay.  The red state model continues to outperform that of the blue states.

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