Unemployment in the San Antonio area declined in 2022 – San Antonio Express-News

The unemployment rate kept ticking down in San Antonio and across Texas in December, but the rapid job growth the state has experienced over the past two years is decelerating as the nation heads for an economic slowdown this year.

Despite Texas adding the fewest jobs since August, statewide unemployment declined slightly to 3.9 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday. That was the state’s lowest jobless rate since the start of the pandemic.

In the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro, unemployment fell to 3.3 percent, a tie for the lowest monthly rate in the area since early 2020, before pandemic-driven layoffs pushed it toward record highs.

On ExpressNews.com: Nirenberg backs CPS Energy plan to shutter coal operation, rely more on natural gas, solar

The national jobless rate fell to 3.5 percent last month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier. U.S. unemployment has remained between 3.5 and 3.7 percent since March, a low rate for the nation historically.

But those jobs numbers don’t fully reflect the wave of layoffs underway in the technology industry. Giants such as Microsoft and Google said this week they will slash more than 10,000 jobs apiece, while Meta, Salesforce and others had already initiated layoffs of tens of thousands.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, corporate executives acknowledged a recession could be on the horizon. Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, said a “contraction in the labor markets ” is likely coming.

Still, the state’s energy sector remained strong at the end of 2022 as upstream firms — those involved in the extraction and production of oil and gas — added 1,300 jobs in December.

In San Antonio, average private sector wages declined slightly in November to $27.91, a 5.4 percent increase from a year earlier, according to BLS data that lags unemployment numbers by one month. But the Consumer Price Index, a proxy for the rate of inflation, increased by more than 7 percent over that time, more than swallowing up San Antonio workers’ wage gains.

Meanwhile, the number of job openings in Texas declined to 857,000 in November, the lowest number of postings since September 2021 — an early signal Texas job growth could continue slowing in the months ahead. The workforce commission said Texas employers added 29,500 jobs in December, down from 33,600 in November and 58,800 in October.

On ExpressNews.com: Zammiello, retiring CEO of Project QUEST, urges patience for Ready to Work job training initiative

The number of layoffs in Texas remained historically low late last year, however, with 87,000 workers cut statewide in November. That was the third-fewest layoffs in any month since the data began in 2000. But that number could rise as the data begin reflecting mounting layoffs over the past two months.

A late December report published by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas warned that job growth and inflation are likely to slow in Texas this year, but the outlook for businesses in 2023 has gotten darker.

“Job and output growth have decelerated, price and wage pressures have weakened, and businesses have grown more pessimistic,” the Dallas Fed researchers, led by San Antonio-based business economist Luis Torres, wrote.

“Texas has historically fared better than the nation during U.S. economic downturns when real oil prices are high,” they wrote. “This time, the state economy appears to be tracking the nation into a slowdown.”

Among major Texas cities, Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate last month at 2.6 percent. The rate in the Austin-Round Rock area was 2.7 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area reported the state’s highest rate at 6.8 percent.


Original News Source


You Can Unsubscribe At Any Time!

This will close in 0 seconds