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Texas job growth hits historic heights

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AUSTIN ⎯ After continued growth through the month of August, Texas has once again set new records for the number of jobs, number of people employed, and size of the civilian labor force. Total nonfarm employment increased by 16,700 positions over the month to reach a 23rd consecutive series-high level with 13,979,100 jobs and a 30th consecutive month of growth. Since August 2022, Lone Star State employment grew by 402,000 positions and continued to outpace the nation in the rate of annual employment growth.

The number of employed persons grew by another 24,300 people over the month, raising the new record high to 14,489,000. The Texas seasonally adjusted civilian labor force grew over the month by another 33,500 people, raising the total to 15,111,900 and marking another record high for the state. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in August, marking the fourth month at that rate.

“After 30 straight months of job growth, the number of employed Texans has reached more than 14.4 million,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “TWC supports the state’s continued economic growth through programs like Jobs and Education for Texans and the Skills Development Fund, that help upskill the Texas workforce to meet employer demand.”

Leisure and Hospitality saw significant growth over the month with 9,100 jobs added. Another 5,000 jobs were added in Other Services, while Financial Activities gained 3,300 positions. Over the year, the job market grew faster in Texas than the U.S. in industries such as Mining and Logging and Financial Activities, which outpaced national growth rates by 3.9 and 3.0 percentage points, respectively. Other Services also grew 2.7 points faster in Texas than nationally over the year.

“Our world-class Texas workforce has grown by more than 400,000 jobs over the last year, thanks largely to the energizing job creation by our private-sector employers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “This continued growth highlights TWC’s unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration and building partnerships with Texas employers across the state.”

The Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) maintained the lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a not seasonally adjusted rate of 2.8 percent in August, followed by Amarillo at 3.6 percent, College Station-Bryan at 3.8 percent, and Odessa at 3.8 percent. Abilene, Austin-Round Rock, and Lubbock were each at 3.9 percent through August. The Midland MSA civilian labor force grew the fastest in the state at 5.5 percent in August. The civilian labor force in Dallas-Fort Worth grew by 4.6 percent, adding more than 195,000 people and representing 40 percent of all MSA growth over-the-year.

“We continue to strengthen the Texas civilian labor force with career pathways through apprenticeship, internship and second chance hiring,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Alberto Treviño III. “TWC empowers economic growth with services such as quality child care and early learning, technical training, vocational rehabilitation, and job finding resources.”

Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). *All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit TexasLMI.com.

The Texas Labor Market Information Data for September is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. (CDT).

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Harsh budget realities debated

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CORRECTION – In the full print edition of this story in the weekend Bowie News, there is an error in the PCRF factor being considered by the city council.

The story said the possible increase was .111 cents, but this is incorrect. It should have read, .0111 cents. We apologize for this error and any confusion it may have caused.

By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
In its first planning workshop of the year, the Bowie City Council reviewed an extensive infrastructure needs plan, electric costs and 10 years of historical budget data during its two-hour session Monday night.
There were some harsh realities debated as the council tackles long-term problems centered primarily around infrastructure.
Public Works Director Stony Lowrance provided a six-page infrastructure plan for water, sewer and streets. He began work on this plan in August using details from the previous drainage report and cost estimates he obtained from engineers.
Lowrance explained the basic costs of chip and seal, which is the process the city staff can do, compared to asphalt. He pointed to priority streets in the next five years that include drainage, crossings, line replacement and reconstructing streets where work is done.
He also provided costs if some streets were contracted out for asphalt.
“We are way behind now due to weather, but in a good year we can do about two miles a year. The cost of material and fuel also impact costs. With the people I have and the equipment, we are doing the best we can. There are a lot of issues with infrastructure and all cities no matter the size have the same problems, we just waited a bit too late to address them, so it kind of backed up on us,” said Lowrance.

Read the full story in your weekend Bowie News. Read below the infrastructure plan for streets, water and sewer and the airport that was presented Tuesday night. Pictured above members of the Bowie City Council and city staff examine documents at Monday’s workshop. (Photo by Barbara Green)

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So far 2024 sixth wettest year in DFW area

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The National Weather Service says 2024 is among the wettest year-to-date. As of May 14 it is the sixth wettest for both the Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco areas.
The year 1990 was number one with 28.49 inches of rain.
Through the end of May Bowie received a total of 22.6 inches of rain. May recorded 8.79 inches alone. April had 5.58, March 3.70, February, 1.63 and January, 2.90.
Nocona recorded a total of 22.83 inches. For May it saw 7.54 inches of rain, April 8.6 inches, March, 1.97, February, 1.84 and January 2.88.

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Councilors review other topics

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While the Bowie City Council was focused on its planning workshop and electric power discussion this week, there were numerous other action items on the agenda.
Responding to complaints about the condition of the walking trail at Pelham Park, councilors Monday approved a request to pay for temporary patching and make plans to resurface it in the next budget year. Public Works Director Stony Lowrance said they have done some patching and plan to redig a ditch line near the pool were water goes along the trail.
He added the street department is already behind due to the wet weather, so he does not think it will be possible to get to it this year. The patching costs run around $4,168 and those invoices were accepted.
During the recent parks board meeting it was reported they have a bid of $20,000 for the resurfacing, which Parks Department Head Clyde Johnson said he would ask for it in his capital improvements budget for 2024-25 and would depend on council approval.

Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.

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