Unemployment dips in San Antonio…

September 24, 2012

The San Antonio area employment outlook brightened in August as 4,300 jobs were created and unemployment fell to its lowest level in more than three years, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said.

The Fed’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in San Antonio for August was 6.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent a month earlier and the lowest it’s been since 6.5 percent unemployment was recorded in May 2009.

The area also added jobs in August at a faster clip than the month before, when 1,100 jobs were created.

The seasonally adjusted employment numbers were released late in the day, but the unadjusted employment numbers for San Antonio produced by the Texas Workforce Commission also showed the area’s recovery was strengthening.

Seasonal adjustments take into account factors such as the hiring of students for summer jobs. Those are the numbers typically reported for the state and the nation.

The commission’s unadjusted numbers said the area’s employment jumped by 4,800 in August after falling by 6,200 in a revised count for July. For the 12-month period ending in August, 20,700 jobs were added by San Antonio employers, a 2.4 percent jump.

Keith Phillips, the senior economic policy adviser for the Dallas Fed in San Antonio, said the annual job growth total and the 3.1 percent job growth calculated for San Antonio’s private sector over the year are up from earlier in the year and better than many other metropolitan areas.

“I look at these numbers and see a pretty healthy San Antonio,” Phillips said. “It’s not booming, but it’s doing well. It’s growing at a good pace.”

He said the area’s job picture has been clouded since the summer of 2011 when government hiring fell off, mostly related to layoffs in schools.

The government sector in San Antonio lost a revised 6,200 jobs in July but added 1,500 in August, the workforce commission said. With sales tax revenues and property valuations increasing, state and local government revenues may stay strong enough to keep that sector from experiencing the same level of cuts this year as last, Phillips said.

The economist also said the area’s hospitality industry performed surprisingly well, adding 8,800 jobs during the year ending in August. In addition, the mining sector, boosted by activity in the Eagle Ford Shale, was making a solid contribution.

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