By Dom DiFurio - Dallas News
The Texas economy continued growing in February, adding 17,700 jobs, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent, according to the latest report from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Growth was largely driven by the private sector, which added 15,100 jobs in February and 256,000 jobs year over year. Private sector employment growth was at 2.5 percent in February. It has remained above 2 percent for about two and a half years.
"Our state's constant job growth, high-demand industries and low unemployment rate make Texas one of the most attractive states in the nation," TWC commissioner representing the public Robert D. Thomas said in a statement Friday.
The leisure and hospitality sector, which has been growing month after month since 2010 in Texas, added 5,500 jobs in February.
While the Texas unemployment rate falls below the nation's 4.1 percent, economists have expressed concern over the continued job growth in a state where the labor force remains tight.
The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank expects employment to grow 1.5 percent this year, taking into account several factors currently challenging the growth of Texas' historically strong economy.
"The three primary factors facing the Texas economy in 2019 remain historically tight labor markets, lower oil prices and continued uncertainty about trade restrictions. These factors will likely slow Texas job growth this year," Dallas Fed Assistant vice president and senior economist Keith Phillips said in a statement.
In January, Dallas-Fort Worth led Texas' job growth and was second onlyto New York among metro areas across the U.S.
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