Two of Texas' biggest industries, the oil-and-gas and manufacturing sectors, added jobs in January – but not enough to overcome losses related to post-holiday layoffs, according to information released this morning by Workforce Solutions-Gulf Coast.
“The two industries are heavily dependent on each other, so it’s not really a surprise to see them rising in tandem,” said Parker Harvey, senior economist at Workforce Solutions. “O&G needs the pipe and pipe fittings those company’s produce to bring new wells online and repair existing infrastructure.”
“In turn, manufacturers need orders from the oil-and-gas industry to keep making their products,” Harvey said. Combined, the two industries added a modest 1,500 jobs last month.
However, seasonal layoffs in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and other holiday spending-related industries contributed to a drop in the overall employment figure. The area lost 43,900 jobs in January, which Harvey says is typical.
“Historically, the region can expect a loss of around 44,000 jobs for the month. January 2017, for instance, saw a decline of 45,400,” said Harvey, who also noted that the federal government makes a statistical adjustment at the beginning of every year to account for population changes.
The area’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.8 percent, up just a half-percent from December, but a full point below the 5.8 percent reported in January 2017.