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Texas Job Growth Slowing

By Shelley Kofler

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-722654.mp3

Dallas, TX – Unemployment in Texas is still below the national average of 5.5 percent. But our 4.5 percent jobless rate in May is a sizeable increase from 4.1 percent a month earlier.

While the nation lost jobs, Texas gained. But again the 8700 new positions represent the smallest increase in nine months, less than half of the job growth for an average month this year.

What that means, according to University of North Texas Economist Bud Weinstein, is that our state is experiencing a less severe recession than the rest of the country, but a recession , nonetheless.

Weinstein: We are moving in the same direction but we are starting off with a much stronger base so I think we will weather this storm fairly well. But that isn't to say we couldn't see the Texas unemployment rate going up another half a percentage point before the economy comes out of this recession we're in.

With major Texas employers like American Airlines, Citigroup and and Toyota talking about layoffs, workers here may feel uncertain. But Weinstein says Texas is still one of the best places to ride out the economic storm.