HOUSTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- While federal data show Michigan shedding the most jobs, a Texas energy group said the state may be taking the brunt of the economic impact of low oil prices.
For the week ending Oct. 31, the U.S. Labor Department said Michigan had the most initial filings for unemployment with 3,942, with losses coming from the state's manufacturing sector. Texas for the week shed 517 jobs.
A survey from the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, however, says the number of jobs lost in the state as a result of the depressed oil economy may be worse than initially forecast.
Karr Ingham, the Texas economist who created an index measuring the industry, said that, when initial forecasts were made when the market downturn began in mid-2014, he expected no more than 50,000 jobs would be lost in Texas. Now, he puts the conservative estimate at around 56,000.
"It is certain that job losses have continued," he said in an emailed statement. "We now appear to be well beyond that [initial] estimate -- and the end is not is sight."
Federal data show Texas has an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, compared with a national rate of 5 percent. The state mining and logging industry, however, is depressed when compared with other sectors, losing 9 percent of its workforce over the last year.
The latest survey from the Dallas Federal Reserve said Houston and Fort Worth, areas with a heavy focus on oil and gas, saw job growth weaken, while prospects in other metropolitan areas remains "robust."
The bank in October said much of the state has diversified away from energy. Some of the workers laid off from the energy sector are not showing in data figures because they've moved out of the state and out of the Texas labor force.
A late-summer report from the Dallas banks said regional economic metrics indicated mostly positive momentum, "except in the energy sector."