The Ginn Economic Brief: Texas Economic Situation – March 2024

March 30, 2024
Vance Ginn
Economy, Labor, Texas Economy, Unemployment, Vance Ginn


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides Texas’ labor market data to examine how people are doing across the state. 

  1. Texas’ employment has been up for 44 of the last 46 months since May 2020.
  • The establishment survey shows that nonfarm employment has increased by 1.14 million jobs since pre-COVID lockdowns in February 2020 to 14.1 million in February 2024, the fourth-best jobs recovery since then. The household survey shows that employment has increased by 1.0 million to 14.58 million jobs since February 2020. 
  • In February, nonfarm employment increased by 49,800 jobs (the third-largest percentage increase of any state, at 0.4%, as 12 states had declines or essentially no growth), and it has been up for 44 of the last 46 months. The household survey also showed employment increased, but by 19,854 jobs in February, and it has also been increasing for 44 of the last 46 months. 
  1. Texas workers gain jobs in most industries, and many people gain purchasing power. 
  • Nonfarm jobs were up by 291,400 over the last year (the most in the country) to 14.1 million, for a 2.1% increase (the 7th fastest). Jobs in the private sector rose by 225,900 over the last year to 12.02 million (85% of total jobs), and government employment increased by 56,600 to 2.05 million (15% of total jobs). 
  • Figure 1 illustrates how most major industries increased employment in February 2024 compared with February 2023. Still, a few industries had increases in average weekly earnings that did not keep up with chained CPI inflation of 2.9%, meaning they lost purchasing power.

Figure 1. Texas Labor Market by Industry

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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  1. Economic growth has picked up, but personal income lags the U.S. average.
  • Figure 2 illustrates the recent report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that annualized growth in real GDP in Texas was up 5.7% in 2023 (well above the 2.5% growth for the U.S. average) ranked 2nd best in the country to $2.1 trillion. It grew by 5.0% annualized in Q4:2023, ranking 5th best.
  • The BEA also reported personal income growth for Texas grew by 6.2% in 2023 (ranked 7th) to $2.0 trillion (above the 5.2% growth for U.S. average). It increased by 5.2% annualized in Q4:2024, ranking 8th best in that quarter.  

Figure 2: Real Gross Domestic Product by State in 2023

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Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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