Local School Payrolls Make up Half of Texas Job Growth in October 2008

By Greg Moses

With worrying economic news we continue to explore Civil Rights in an economic context. What does it mean when Texas leaders point to jobs growth in Texas?

In October 2008, the actual Nonfarm Employment in Texas (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 43,600 jobs for a total of 10.7 million Texas jobs. It was the Service Providing Sector that kept Texas in the job-growth zone after the Goods Producing Sector lost a total of 3,000 jobs.

Of the 46,900 new Service Producing jobs in Texas, a hefty 33,700 came from the Government sector, especially from Local Government Educational Services, which added 26,200 jobs. This, my friend, is your local property tax at work, providing an equivalent of half the actual Nonfarm job growth in Texas for October 2008.

Goods Producing

The Goods Producing Sector offered 1.8 million jobs in Texas during October after losing 3,300 jobs. Within the Goods Producing sector, Natural Resources and Mining was up 1,500 jobs while Construction was down 700.

Within Construction, Heavy and Civil Engineering was down 1,100, and Specialty Trade Contractors were down 800. Building Equipment Contractors and other specialty trades decreased by 1,700. On the positive tick in Construction, Building Construction was up 1,200, thanks to an increase of 900 jobs in Building Finishing, Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors.

Texas Manufacturing slipped to 926,800 jobs after losing 4,100.

Durable Goods

The Manufacturing Durable goods sector lost 2,500 jobs, with biggest hits coming from Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (-900 jobs); Wood Product Manufacturing (-600 jobs); Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing (-600 jobs); Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing (-500 jobs); and Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing (-500 jobs).

Bright spots in Texas Durable Goods Manufacturing came in two sectors. The Machinery Manufacturing Sector increased to a total of 97,900 jobs after adding 300 jobs in October. And the Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing sector grew to 47,600 jobs after adding 200 jobs in October.

Non-Durable Goods

In Non-Durable Good Manufacturing a total of 1,600 jobs were lost, with the biggest loss coming from Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing (-400 jobs).

The Chemical Manufacturing Sector still reports a total of 74,300 jobs after losing 100 jobs in October.

The largest sector in Texas Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing is Food Manufacturing, which grew to a total of 90,800 jobs after adding 600 jobs in October. Animal slaughtering also added 300 jobs in October for a total of 39,600 jobs.

Service Providing

The Service Providing Sector in Texas grew to nearly 8.9 million jobs after adding 46,900 jobs in October. Of those new service jobs, 33,700 came from the government sector of nearly 1.8 million jobs. And of the new government jobs, 26,200 came from Local Government Educational Services.

In the Private Service Providing Sector of nearly 7.1 million jobs, there were 13,200 new jobs added in October.


Retail employment grew by 5,700 jobs to nearly 1.2 million. Retail sector leaders were Clothing Stores (+1,700 jobs); Electronics and Appliance Stores (+1,500 jobs); General Merchandise (+1,400); Miscellaneous Store Retailers (+1,300 jobs); and Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores (+1,100).

Retail sector losses were felt by Automotive Dealers (-1,400 jobs); Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers (-800 jobs), Gasoline Stations (-700 jobs), and Automotive Parts, Accessories, and Tire Stores (-300 jobs).


Also in the Private Service Providing Sector, the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities sector was able to add 1,800 jobs, bringing total employment in that sector to 442,400. Sector leaders were Support Activities for Transportation (+1,800 jobs); Transportation and Warehousing (+1,100 jobs); Utilities (+700 jobs); Warehousing and Storage (+500 jobs); and Courriers and Messengers (+300 jobs).

Truck Transportation on the other hand was down by 1,100 jobs to 119,300. Air Transportation was down by 200 jobs to 63,100.


The Information sector was able to add 700 jobs, 200 of them from Data processing, hosting and related services. Telecommunications fell to a total of 94,800 after losing 500 jobs. And publishers of Newspapers, Periodicals, Books, and Directories fell to a total of 31,100 after losing 100 jobs.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities lost 1,600 jobs, bringing the sector to a total of 653,900 in October. While Depository Credit Intermediation services lost 500 jobs, another 900 jobs were added for Nondepository Credit Intermediation.

Rental and Leasing Services lost 700 jobs.

Professional and Business

Professional and Business Services added 14,200 jobs in October bringing the sector to a total of nearly 1.4 million jobs. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 7,000 jobs. Administrative and Support Services added 7,400 jobs.

Educational and Health

Educational and Health Services added 6,100 jobs in about equal parts Health and Education for a sector total of 1.3 million jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment fell by 9,800 jobs, with heaviest losses coming from Accommodation and Food Services (-5,700 jobs); Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (-4,100 jobs); Accommodation (-3,800 jobs); and Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries (-3,800 jobs).

Other Services

In the “other services” sector, Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations lost 1,700 jobs.


Something needs to be said after comparing the fastest growing sector in October — Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores (+4.3 percent) — to the fastest declining sector, Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries (-4.6 percent). As global economic news turned from bad to worse, Texans left the casinos for office supply stores, assisted in some part by renewed government employment in state and local education. If this is how Texas continues to meet the hard times, you gotta believe karma will return good things.

Note: numbers taken from actual Nonfarm employment figures (not seasonally adjusted). Get the spreadsheet directly in xls format, or find the link at Texas Tracer.

By mopress

Writer, Editor, Educator, Lifelong Student

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