Texas had a greater rate of job growth between 2000 and 2013 than the rest of the country, according to the report "Texas Leads Nations in Creation of Jobs at All Pay Levels," by Melissa LoPalo and Pia M. Orrenius from the Federal Reserve of Dallas. The report analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' population surveys from 2000 to 2013.
Overall, employment in Texas grew 24.9 percent compared to employment in the rest of the U.S., which rose only 4.7 percent between 2000 and 2013.
Quality of jobs
While Texas is creating a large number of jobs, there's a perception that these are not well-paying positions because the state typically has a lower median household income and lower wages, according to the report. In 2012, 7.5 percent of hourly workers were paid at or below the federal minimum. The national average for the number of workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage was 4.9 percent.
While there's concern over the quality of new jobs, the authors of the study found Texas has experienced job growth in all wage quartiles since 2000. The upper-middle class quartile, which has hourly wages between $16.93 – $26.04, grew 28 percent, and the highest wage positions, which have hourly wages above $26.04, rose 36 percent. These two wage quartiles, which LoPalo and Orrenius refer to as "good" jobs, account for 55 percent of net new jobs in the state.
Qualifications of workers
Along with Texas' job growth are concerns with businesses ability to find qualified workers. Orrenius, vice president of the Federal Reserve of Dallas, stated quality education is necessary for Texas to continue to create high-paying jobs. Texas businesses have a difficult time filling higher paying positions because the number of people entering the workforce with college degrees is decreasing.
Job growth per sector
Texas has a high demand for teachers, nurses and doctors, according to the study, so it's no surprise that education and health services accounted for 42 percent of the net high-wage jobs. The mining industry was also a major factor in job growth and accounts for 15 percent of new positions in the two highest wage quartiles. The third largest contributor to job growth was the finance, insurance and real estate sectors and fourth was professional and business services.
As the Texas economy continues at a faster pace than the rest of the nation, local businesses will need help finding educated and skilled workers for their open positions. Texan companies should partner with engineering, finance and accounting and manufacturing recruiters to find the best individuals for their jobs.