Given all the doom and gloom talk about oil, I was surprised to see that employment in Texas increased in December (both sequentially and YoY) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report published today.
18 states had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, 15 of which were positive. The largest significant job gains occurred in California (+60,400), Texas (+24,900), and Florida (+21,900)…
Over the year, 39 states had statistically significant changes in employment, 36 of which were positive. The largest significant over-the-year job increase occurred in California (+459,400), followed by Florida (+233,100) and Texas (+166,900)…
To me, this seems to suggest that either fewer people have been laid off from energy companies in Texas than one might otherwise assume, or those people were able to find new jobs pretty quickly – and I can’t help but be reminded of the comment the Wells Fargo CEO made about that building company he visited:
I was with a large builder in the Texas market not long ago. And they were talking about the fact that some of what’s happening in oil and gas in the field services is making cement more available and workers and so forth that are important to housing.
If the Texas economy remains resilient, I wonder if this whole oil oversupply issue will end up actually being a net positive for LGIH in that region, instead of the net negative that the market seems to be assuming.
BLS report: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm