What May’s Healthy Employment Numbers Mean for DFW

The sectors the nation is seeing gains in are already strong industries in the DFW economy.

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is higher than initial projections. And the sectors that are adding jobs are virtually all strong drivers for the Dallas-Fort Worth economy.

With the number of unemployed people in the U.S. dipping to 6.1 million in May, the sectors responsible for the most job creation are retail trade (31,000 jobs), healthcare (29,000 jobs), construction (more than 25,000 jobs), professional and technical services (more than 23,000 jobs), and transportation and warehousing (19,000 jobs). DFW, and Dallas in particular, has a strong presence in all of those sectors.

“Looking at various sectors that grew over last 30 days, that mirrors almost identically what we’re seeing in Dallas,” CBRE Research Director Robert Kramp says. “Even in DFW, we have seen 4 percent annualized growth in April to add 12,000 new jobs.” (Regionally, April’s employment numbers are the latest available.)

Kramp was also encouraged by the strong increase in construction jobs. With DFW’s commercial and residential real estate booms still robust, an uptick in construction jobs bodes well for the region. The total civilian labor force in DFW accounts for 3,903,500 people, of which 3,772,400 are employed. In Dallas-Fort Worth, mining, logging, and construction jobs are up 6.1 percent over the last 12 months; professional and business services are up 4.4 percent; and leisure and hospitality jobs are up 5.6 percent.

These numbers remain strong, but Kramp urges one word of caution. “I’ve been telling clients to expect job growth to slow because we’re running out of workers,” Kramp says. “One thing I’m keeping an eye on is job participation rate—people who are able but unemployed.

Nationally, both the labor force participation rate (62.7 percent) and the employment-population ratio (60.4 percent) changed little in May.


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