The Texas economy continues to expand, but there are signs that growth is slowing. Some major metro areas have begun to experience slower growth, especially in locations where energy industry jobs make up a large portion of employment. The unemployment rate fell further in January, while initial unemployment claims rose. The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) showed no growth in production over the past two months. House price appreciation remained strong, and mortgage delinquencies continued to fall in fourth quarter 2014. Oil prices remained at their lowest levels in years, and exports fell again in January, down from year-ago levels.
Job Growth Slows in January
Employment grew 1.7 percent in January, a significantly slower pace than December’s 4.3 percent increase and slightly slower than the nation’s 2.1 percent rate. Because monthly data can be noisy and subject to revision, more data are needed to determine the extent to which employment growth has slowed. The Texas economy added 367,700 jobs in the past year, growing 3.2 percent year over year in January.
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