The number of people employed in New York City, Dallas and Houston rose sharply in June, compared to a year ago, based on total number of people employed. Among all U.S. cities, these three added the most jobs. The New York number may be based on the total size of its population. The figures for the two Texas cities show the state remains the job creation capital of the country.
Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that last month, of the 372 metropolitan areas measured:
The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+144,800), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+99,000), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+97,700).
The unemployment rate throughout Texas is only 6.9%.
The most impressive aspect of the state’s ability to add jobs is its current size and past growth rate. Texas has more than 26 million residents, making it second in total population, behind California. Based on census data taken every 10 years, the increase in the population has averaged more than 20% per decade since 1950, when the number of people in the state was only 7.7 million.
There is no single reason for the job creation in the state. Obviously, the energy industry thrives there, and it has continued to as America relies increasingly on oil and gas. And Texas has been a traditional location for farms and cattle ranches, due in part to its size.
However, the real key to the growth of jobs in Texas is its transformation into a state that has a large tech sector like California’s. While the two biggest companies headquartered in Texas, based on revenue, are Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), several huge tech companies are also headquartered there. These include AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN).
Aside from size, industry diversity may be the key to the ability of Texas to maintain such a healthy and growing job base. By way of contrast, New York continues to be dominated by the financial industry, and Michigan by large car companies and their suppliers. Texas does not have that problem, and neither does its working population.