March 27 (UPI) -- Gains in the energy sector are spilling over into other parts of the economy, with manufacturing getting some secondary support, a Texas economist said.
Keith R. Phillips, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said job growth is expected to move above the long-term average of 2.1 percent for 2017, against a 1.7 percent gain last year.
"Improvement in the energy sector is helping manufacturers that sell to this industry, and some weakening in the value of the dollar in February is reducing the strains on Texas exporters," he said in a statement. "During the first two months of 2017, mining employment jumped at an annualized pace of 13.4 percent, and manufacturing jobs increased 6.2 percent."
Federal data from last week show 31 states had significant year-on-year gains in non-farm payroll last month, with Texas taking the No. 3 spot with an increase of 222,400.
The Dallas Fed reported mostly positive contributors to an upbeat sentiment over the past three months coming from gains in permits issued for new oil and gas wells, as well as a generally upbeat sentiment about the national economy.
Data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes last week show gains in oil and gas exploration, and production in Texas. Reflected as rig counts, Texas showed a 2 percent gain from the previous week at 404. Nearly all of the rig activity in Texas is in the Permian shale basin, which saw a 2 percent gain in rig counts to 315.
Rig counts are used as a loose metric to gauge confidence in a particular region. Shale basins in the United States have been more resilient to lower oil prices than expected and, in total, there were 209 rigs reported in service in Texas this time last year.
Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the United States. Total production of oil, including condensate, peaked last year at the January level of 102.5 million barrels.