What's the Latest on the Texas Economy?

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Don Baylor /(512) 320-0222 x 108

September 2, 2005

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This report tells a mixed story. Over the past several months, the Texas unemployment rate has improved considerably – in July matching the national average of 5.0%. However, rising long-term unemployment and the declining labor force participation rate indicate underlying problems with the Texas labor market. More importantly, Texas workers have been experiencing wage and income stagnation over the past two decades, limiting the pace of economic growth and the ability of those individuals at or near the poverty level to work their way out of poverty. In addition, educational attainment continues to be a major factor in determining income. Texas’ high share of workers with less than a college education keeps overall wages lower than the national average.