As the U.S. economy improves, jobs are still being lost in Texas.
But new numbers released by the Texas Association of Business and Industry show that the job losses in the Lone Star State are up more than 70 percent over the last year.
And that’s just the top 10 occupations.
There are more than 5,400 jobs in the state that are currently unfilled.
There are a lot of good reasons why this is happening, says Kevin O’Connor, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council.
First, the economy is still recovering from the recession that began in 2007.
Second, Texas has a relatively small labor force.
The state’s labor force has increased by about 2.6 million since 2007, but there are fewer people than at any time since 1980.
Third, Texas’ workforce is aging.
The median age in the country is 32.3 years, down from 35.4 in 2008.
But the state is also adding workers to the workforce at an alarming rate.
In addition, Texas still has a lot more than it can handle, particularly with the growing number of Texans moving to the U, said O’Connell.
“I think that’s one of the big factors driving the job loss in Texas, and that’s not going to change,” he said.
We don’t have enough engineers, he said, adding, “You have people that can’t work with you anymore.
And you have people who don’t want to work for you anymore because you’re not hiring anymore.”
And, O’Connors group says, the state has one of America’s highest unemployment rates, particularly in cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
“The overall job market in Texas is not healthy,” said OConnors chief economist, Paul Winterer.
“It’s a problem for the state of Texas, a problem that will be exacerbated by a number of factors.”
The state is currently on pace for a job loss of nearly 500,000 jobs, or roughly 5 percent of the overall economy, by 2020, according to a study by the Austin-based McKinsey & Company.
And with more than 40,000 of those jobs at construction sites, oil and gas and other sectors, that will increase the number of jobs lost by about 40 percent by 2020.
But O’Connor says the job growth is still a very low percentage of the state’s overall economy.
“Texas has an economy that is growing at a much higher rate than the rest of the country,” he says.
And as the state grows, more and more of the jobs will be filled by people with no other options, O-Connor says.
That’s a big part of the reason that Texas has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, he says, and he says that’s why so many people are leaving.
“Texas is a very unique state, with a lot going on in it,” O’Corners group CEO said.
“You see a lot happening in that state.
It’s not just people moving from Houston to Dallas, from San Antonio to Austin.”