5600 new jobs in November
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While the national headlines continue to report on the tough economic times the country is facing, the State of Texas continues to maintain the economic advantage it has carried throughout the recession into the recovery. In fact the Texas economy is situated as the 11th largest economy in the world and as a result has continued to be the beneficiary of positive reviews from several national business publications. These positive reviews help us to remember that while the tough economy continues to affect Texas adversely, our state has proven to be more resilient than most.
According to the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program report four Texas metropolitan areas – Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio – dominate the top 15 U.S. cities in a global study to determine the level of cities’ recovery from the recession. The report ranks 150 cities: 50 in the United States, 50 in Europe and 50 in the rest of the world. Austin was the highest-ranked U.S. city and No. 26 in the world. Dallas ranks as the No. 4 U.S. city and No. 39 in the world, followed by San Antonio which ranks No. 11 in the U.S. and No. 51 in the world and Houston which ranked No. 15 in the U.S. and No. 61 in the world.
Additionally, CNN Money last year named Texas as one of five states on its’ “Best States to Launch a Business” list. Texas, was the only large state on the list, and was credited for being a tax haven with no personal income tax or corporate income tax. The article referenced the franchise tax exemption passed by the 81st Legislature (House Bill 4765) with fostering growth in small businesses in the state.
One major economic indicator continues to signal that Texas is in a strong position for the recovery; that is our state’s unemployment rate. The Texas unemployment rate, while still higher than we would like to have, remains well below the national rate. The Texas Workforce Commission’s most recent update from November showed that Texas’ was able to added 19.100 jobs during the month. Professional and Business Services increased by 5,600 jobs in November, adding 61,200 positions from a year ago.
A secondary economic indicator is outlined in the consumer confidence index. The consumer confidence index for the Texas region increased from 71.8 in October to 89.7 in November 2010, and is now up 38.2 percent from its level one year ago. This increase in consumer confidence can clearly be seen in the increase of the states sales tax collection. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that the sales tax collections in November topped $1.8 billion, up 8.7 percent over November 2009. Combs says that pushes the string of consecutive year-over-year sales tax gains to eight months. Last month’s sales tax figure marks the highest collections total since January 2009.
It is clear that Texas is in better position than many other states as our economy continues to recover, but I know people are still struggling with finding a job in today’s economy. For those looking for work I highly encourage you to go to the Texas Workforce Commission which has been charged with overseeing and providing workforce solutions to both employers and job seekers of Texas. One tool that the Texas Workforce Commission offers to assist those looking for work is the online application: WorkInTexas.com. The website offers job seekers immediate and continuous access to a database of thousands of job postings. The Texas Workforce Commission also provides its services to Texas employers and job seekers by way of its 28 Local Workforce Development Boards located around the state.
If you would like more information on services provided by the Texas Workforce Commission or any other information discussed in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol Office at 512-463-0672 or the District Office at 361-949-4603.