What recession? The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area (DFW) has made the hyperspace jump as annual job growth and corporate investment in the North Texas region is second-to-none. In fact, DFW ranks first in annual employment gains among the major U.S. metropolitan markets with a workforce over 1 million, besting New York City by more than 20,000 jobs added over the prior 12 months, despite having an employment base only 38% the size.
DFW added a net 120,700 new jobs during the prior 12 months ending November 2019, representing a 3.2% annual increase, which also ranks first among major metros. The Professional & Business Services industry sector (22K jobs or 3.5% growth) accounted for the largest annual increase, but five other sectors witnessed at least 15,000 new jobs, and no sector witnessed net job losses. Depending on the strength of December’s job figures, 2019 could be the strongest year of job growth for DFW since the 1990s. The unemployment rate has declined by 20 basis points to 3.0%, outpacing the Texas and U.S. unemployment rates of 3.5% and 3.4%, respectively.
DFW’s comparative ease of national access with a port city in near proximity, its organic source of a well-educated workforce talent base, along with the pro-business economic policies in Texas all combine to give the region a competitive advantage for drawing corporate relocation and investment activity. Additionally, the diverse mix of industry sectors add somewhat of a buffer if a recession were to take place. However, barring a labor shortage or a disruption in the global economy, the North Texas economy can expect to continue its expansion through 2020. The employment outlook for Dallas-Fort Worth remains strong with job growth conservatively forecasted to average approximately 72,200 jobs (or 1.9%) per year through 2022, according to Moody’s Analytics.