DALLAS, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Diversity in the Texas economy means employment is holding steady because of expansion in industries outside the oil sector, a bank report said.
The Dallas Federal Reserve said the employment index is steady, with a full-year 1.3 percent growth rate expected for 2015. In total, about 150,500 jobs will be added in Texas for the year, despite widespread layoffs in the oil and gas sector.
Federal data show a statewide unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, compared with a 5 percent rate nationwide.
"In the face of the lowest three-month average oil price since March 2009, the Texas economy continued to add jobs through November," Keith Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist, said in a statement.
In its so-called Beige Book, the Dallas bank said job cuts in the energy sector were spilling over to white-collar employment. New home construction, meanwhile, was restrained by labor shortages, mostly in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.
In its latest snapshot on employment, the bank said the low price of crude oil has so far not spilled over into other sectors. Areas of the state with a low share of jobs in the energy sector, like Dallas and the capital city, Austin, have shown resiliency.
Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the nation. A drilling productivity report from the federal Energy Information Administration finds that, off the seven shale basins contributing most to total U.S. oil production, only the Permian reserve area in Texas is expected to report short-term gains.