In fiscal 2017, the state economy added 298,600 non-farm jobs, an increase of 2.5 percent, to reach 12,333,900. Texas added more new jobs than any other state during this time frame. Private-sector employment rose by 2.7 percent while government employment (federal, state and local) grew by 1.4 percent.
The state’s rate of job growth, at 2.5 percent, was the second highest among the 10 most populous states and the fifth highest among all states.

Consumer Spending
In fiscal 2016, for the first time since 2010, sales tax collections fell (by 2.3 percent) from the previous year’s total, but growth in sales tax collections resumed in 2017, with revenue up 2.3 percent over 2016, to reach $28.9 billion.
However, sales activity for motor vehicles operating on Texas highways, as measured by state motor vehicle sales tax collections, fell by 1.8 percent in 2017, the first annual decline since 2009.
The Consumer Confidence Index is a monthly measure of consumer optimism, an important factor affecting the sales of housing, automobiles and other major purchases.
The index for the four-state West South Central (WSC) Region, which includes Texas, was up by 40 percent in fiscal 2017. The index for the nation as a whole was up 21 percent.

Oil and gas
As a result of the recent precipitous decline in oil and natural gas prices — the monthly average NYMEX price for oil fell from $102.39 per barrel in July 2014 to $44.80 in August 2016, a decrease of 56 percent — the Texas mining and logging industry (including oil and gas) lost 52,200 jobs in fiscal 2016.
Industry employment peaked in December 2014 at 322,900 and then declined steadily, reaching a low of 214,200 in September 2016.
Since then, industry employment has grown in every month, reaching 243,900 in August 2017, an increase of 29,500 (13.8 percent) from August 2016.
In addition to substantial exploration activities within the state and in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is headquarters for many of the nation’s largest oil and natural gas refining and distribution companies, and has a large number of energy-related jobs in other industries. Employment in those industries and sectors has recovered from recent lows.

The Texas manufacturing industry gained 35,600 jobs over the past year, an increase of 4.2 percent. Durable goods employment was up 21,500, dominated by gains in fabricated metal manufacturing (up 15,000, 12.9 percent). Machinery manufacturing employment also was up substantially over the year (by 6,000, 6.9 percent).
Texas exports increased for the first time in two years (on a year-over-year basis) in November 2016 and have increased in every month since. Through July, the value of 2017 exports was 12 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2016. Texas is the nation’s leading exporting state, and has been for more than a decade. Texas exports comprised 16.5 percent of total U.S. exports through the first 11 months of fiscal 2017.

Construction employment increased by 15,200 (2.2 percent) in fiscal 2017 to reach 714,800 in August 2017. Employment in the specialty trade contractors sector increased the most of any construction sector, growing by 8,500 (2.1 percent). Employment in the construction of buildings sector was unchanged over the year (at 161,600).
Total housing construction activity in 2017 was essentially unchanged from 2016. According to Multiple Listing Service data from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, the median sales price for an existing Texas single-family home rose by 5.6 percent, from $215,000 in July 2016 to $227,000 in July 2017.

Texas’ service-providing industries, which account for more than 85 percent of the state’s total non-farm employment, saw job growth of 2.1 percent in fiscal 2017.
The professional and business services industry added 47,900 jobs (up 2.9 percent) in fiscal 2017. Employment changes varied considerably among industry sectors, with the largest increases in management, scientific, and technical consulting services (6.5 percent) and business support services (5.1 percent). The only sector to experience a decrease was computer systems design and related services. The employment services sector, which includes temporary help agencies with many of its jobs in temporary and/or part-time positions, grew by 0.9 percent.
The education and health services industry, composed of the educational services and health care and social assistance sectors, added 46,300 jobs in fiscal 2017, a growth rate of 2.8 percent. The relatively small educational services sector saw an increase of 5,900 jobs (3.0 percent). The much larger health care and social assistance sector grew at a 2.8 percent rate (40,400 jobs). Within the health care and social assistance sector, home health care services had both the largest absolute increase (18,600) and the largest percentage gain (7.1 percent).

Trade, Transportation and Utilities
The trade, transportation and utilities industry, the state’s largest employer with 20 percent of total non-farm jobs in August 2017, added 28,200 jobs (1.2 percent) during the year. Employment in two of the three industry sectors — retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation, warehousing and utilities — rose during fiscal 2017. Wholesale trade employment was up by 1.9 percent for 10,900 additional jobs, and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector increased by 19,800 (3.8 percent).
Employment in retail trade, however, decreased by 2,500 (-0.2 percent), with the largest decreases in health and personal care stores (-4.4 percent, -3,300 jobs) and clothing and clothing accessories stores (-4.1 percent, -4,800 jobs).

The information industry is a collection of diverse sectors, representing established sectors of the economy (newspaper publishing, data processing, television broadcasting, and wired telephone services) as well as some newer sectors (cell phone service providers, Internet providers, and software).
The information industry was the only one of the 11 major industries to experience a decline in employment over the year. Employment fell 5.3 percent (10,700) to reach 191,400 in August 2017. Leisure and Hospitality
Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry increased by 34,600 (2.7 percent) over the fiscal year. The majority of the industry’s job gains occurred in the food services and drinking places sector, which added 27,200 jobs (2.6 percent).

Government employment increased by 1.4 percent (27,800) over the year. Federal government employment increased by 2,200, state government employment by 5,000, and local government employment by 20,600. Total government employment in Texas was 1,959,200 in August 2017.

Excepted from the State of Texas Annual Cash Report 2017, Comptroller of Public Accounts.