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Texas job growth hindered by oil price plunge

The Lone Star State has beat most others in the nation in job growth for over a decade. Since 2000, growth has more than doubled in Texas, and in the last quarter of 2014 it held 30 percent of America’s total jobs overall. However, the King of Crude is feeling the impacts of low oil prices and a recent analysis of job trends is forecasting that Texas may not outpace the nation this year in employment creation.

Job cuts, slowdowns and rig reductions are bearing down on the Texas oil and natural gas industry. So much, in fact, that economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predict the state will add jobs at a rate between 2 and 2.5 percent in 2015, down from the 3.6 percent it’s estimating for 2014. This means roughly 140,000 fewer jobs are expected to open up in Texas compared to last year.

This of course doesn’t mean Texas isn’t still a leading job creator for the nation. 235,000 to 295,000 new jobs predicted for Texas is more than most states created over the past year. Even with the current crude slump, Texas still has five out of ten top counties in the nation for oil field jobs according to the San Antonio Business Journal.

Nonetheless, cuts are coming, and many indirect occupations will also feel a hit. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Dale Craymer, a former state budget planner and president at the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association stated that each of the 100,000 plus jobs created by the oil industry in Texas since the end of the recession supports 2.3 other jobs. Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas stated that Texas could lose 128,000 jobs by the middle of 2015 if U.S. benchmark crude remains around $55 a barrel. This week, oil experienced its lowest value since 2009 when prices fell to around $46 per barrel.


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