Thoughts on Texas employment and job numbers

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary, jobs, The Economy, Unemployment at 4:10 pm by wcnews

The jobs/unemployment numbers in Texas are a bit jumbled this month, Texas unemployment rate rises to 7.2 percent.

Unemployment in Texas rose for the second consecutive month to 7.2 percent in July despite continued job growth, according to state jobless data released Friday.

Texas Workforce Commission figures show that the state added 17,800 nonfarm jobs in July. But that wasn’t enough to keep up with rising population, causing the jobless rate to tick up from 7 percent in June.

Here’s how the numbers look in the Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos area, State Unemployment Rate Up, Austin Holds Steady.

Austin’s unemployment rate stayed steady last month while the state rate went up slightly.

Austin’s unemployment rate was at 6.4 percent in both June and July.

“All in all it’s not a bad picture but we are at a bit of a loss to explain some of the job losses that occurred during July, especially at the same time where we saw an increase in the numbers of the civilian labor force – which, again, is attributable to population growth,” says Capital Area Workforce Solutions Executive Director Alan Miller. “But some of the numbers just don’t quite make sense. And they’re going to require us to dig a little deeper and find out what was going on in July.”

The unemployment rate across Texas went up to 7.2 percent in July – that’s up over 7 percent in June.

Much of the reason for Texas’ jumble is similar to the reason it’s jumbled at the national level. The cutbacks in public sector workers because of austerity, State cut more than 6,000 employees.

A state auditors report just released shows that the state has eliminated about 6,145 jobs in the past year. Most of those cuts have come in state agencies, but colleges and universities also report that they have cut 336 faculty posts and 580 staff members.

The Legislature slashed state spending last year to deal with a multi-billion shortfall. The numbers of job lost don’t reflect public school teaching jobs, where nearly 11,000 positions were cut.

Link to the report here. This could certainly help out, Will Texas take $31 million in ‘free’ highway money from Uncle Sam?

Texas is eligible for $31 million from the unspent earmark pot, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today. The money can be spent by Texas and other states on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail, or port project.

“We’re releasing these funds so Texas can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” LaHood said.

If public sector jobs were at the same level they were now, as they were during the Bush years, the unemployment rate and economy would be in much better shape. And the same can be said for Texas, we wouldn’t be in this jumble if The Lege had not cut so many teachers from the payroll. As good as Texas’ economy is doing, if it was for the austerity measures put in by the regressives last year, the economy would be humming along.

Further Reading:
Here’s What’s Really Happened To The Private Sector Under Obama

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