Monday, April 1, 2013

Where the Jobs Are Being Created is Hardly a Surprise

Jobs are growing unevenly through the U.S., and they're growing where we would expect them to grow.

I wonder if the government knows best gang that is so 'focused' on saving the middle class is paying any attention to all this activity in Texas. It sure doesn't seem so.

Maybe it's only that portion of the middle class that works in the government sector that they're trying so hard to save. But even if that's the case, somebody still has to create the wealth in the private sector to pay for all the government's spending in the public sector. Unless we want to see just how much the Chinese will lend us before finally cutting off the credit spigot, that is.

Hiring Spreads, but Only 14 Cities Top Prerecession Level describes the situation this way:

"Employers are hiring more readily across the U.S., though only 14 of the nation's 100 biggest metropolitan areas have more jobs now than they did before the 2008-09 recession.

Six of them are in Texas . . . . All of the 14 appear to have benefited in some way from a stable employment base, anchored by either universities, government agencies or high-tech hubs, helping residents avoid the worst of the job losses suffered by other areas. . . .

Job seekers at a March 19 energy industry fair in San Antonio.

Robust employment in the oil and gas industries helped the Texas cities, although data from the Texas Workforce Commission suggests the job recovery has come from a variety of industries. Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen, Dallas and Houston all made the list, along with Oklahoma City, another energy town. The other cities on the list of 14 are: Omaha, Neb., Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Calif., Knoxville, Tenn., Washington and Charleston, S.C.

Nationally, there were 3 fewer million jobs in February, or 2% less than when employment peaked in January 2008.

"Texas has been a bright spot in the recession. Its housing market wasn't hit as hard," said Alec Friedhoff, a senior research analyst at Brookings, a Washington think tank. "The oil-and-gas industry has been a great boon for that part of the country."

Texas has added jobs every month since January 2010, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. On Friday, the agency reported that Texas has added almost 360,000 nonfarm jobs since February 2012 on a seasonally adjusted basis, with gains in hospitality, government and manufacturing jobs, among others. The unemployment rate in Texas in February was 6.4%, significantly below the 7.7% national average.

Austin added more jobs, percentage-wise, than any other metro area, helped by stable employment at the state government and University of Texas as well as high-tech jobs. . . .

Despite showing strong job growth, a few metro areas could be disproportionately affected in the months ahead by automatic government spending cuts. Washington, and Charleston, in particular, could be hurt by job losses since they're home to large numbers of military families and contractors. The state of Virginia recently estimated it could lose more than 160,000 jobs as a result of the government and military spending cuts over the next few years.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in February from January's levels in 22 states, increased in 12 and was unchanged in 16 plus the District of Columbia. Employment increased in 42 states and fell in 8 plus the District of Columbia."

Summing Up

Counting Oklahoma City, exactly 50% of the 14 job creating cities in the 100 largest metropolitan U.S. are energy centric. The remaining 86 areas still don't have their employment levels back to the prerecession levels of 2008-09.

Well, at least we know one sure fire formula for creating new jobs on a sustainable basis.

Maybe someday we'll get around to using it aggressively.

Besides the added income for individuals from new employment, our government could use the additional tax revenues, and other businesses could benefit from the additional economic activity.

Throw in increased consumer demand and lower energy costs, and then we'd see even more jobs being created across the nation. A virtuous circle.

Politics sucks.

Thanks. Bob.

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