HillCo Partners Economic Update

HillCo Partners

Update compiled by HillCoPartners.com Staff

HillCo Partners closely monitors and complies information concerning the current economic climate/trends of the state. These factors, including Texas’ bond rating, are aspect that create an overall picture of the state’s general economic health. The following information has been compiled in order to create a more complete snapshot of the current economic status of Texas.

Labor Market Information

The most recent labor market information for the state is from March 2022:

March 2022 Texas LMI (Texas Workforce Commission):

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  • Total Non-Farm Employment: 13,207,600
  • Jobs Change Over the Year: 731,600
  • Annual Growth Rate: 5.9%

In comparison to February 2022, the unemployment rate has dropped by 0.3% and compared to UI rates a year ago it has decreased by 2.0%. Texas has added 30,100 nonagricultural jobs in March 2022 and total nonfarm jobs reached 13,207,600. In March, Financial Activities gained 7,800 jobs over the month and manufacturing added 5,600 positions. Also of note, Education and Health Services employment grew by 5,500 jobs. (Texas Workforce Commission).

Texas Employment

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas employment expanded by 2.3% in March after growing rapidly by 9.4% in February. Oil and gas saw the fastest growth followed by manufacturing and financial activities. Through March, all sectors except government increased. Relative to January 2020 levels, consumer spending in Texas continued to increase.

State Sales Tax Revenue

The Texas Comptroller is the states’ chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and the agency is responsible for keeping the books for the multi-billion-dollar business of state government (Texas Comptroller). Additionally, the Comptroller monitors economic data around the state monthly and publishes regular periodicals. Every month, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar releases information on state sales tax revenue. State sales tax revenue totaled $3.37 billion in March, 28.5% more than in March 2021. However, when adjustments due to the 2021 Winter Storm Uri are considered, March 2022 sales tax revenue was up 37.2%. The majority of March sales tax revenue is based on sales made in February and remitted to the agency in March. Sales tax collections saw growth across all major economic sectors. Comptroller Hegar said “receipts from segments stimulated by pandemic spending patterns, including online general merchandisers and home improvement, furniture and sporting goods stores, continue to exhibit very strong growth.” He noted that growth in receipts from oil and gas mining, construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade continued to be robust; however, receipts from oil and gas remain “below pre-pandemic levels despite elevated energy prices” (Texas Comptroller).

Texas’ Bond Rating

Major rating agencies, Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s (S&P), issue ratings that characterize the state’s ability to repay debt. These agencies provide investors with assessments of the trustworthiness of potential investments in the state and possible risks involved. Additionally, highly rated borrowers typically pay lower interest costs. As of August 2021, Texas is top rated by all three of these agencies.

Texas’ Ratings (Texas Bond Review Board)

Fitch: AAA

Moody’s: Aaa

S&P: AAA

About: HillCo Partners was founded by Neal T. “Buddy” Jones and Bill Miller. It is a full-service firm that provides consultancy services for public and government affairs. The firm opened for business in 1998, and today, it is the top-ranked Texas lobbying firm. More information about the firm can be found on their website: www.hillcopartners.com.

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