Texas’ economy continues to hum along, with new numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor showing that 2018 ended on a high note. The state added 38,000 seasonally adjusting nonfarm jobs in December, the comission said in a news release. The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from November’s level of 3.7 percent—a 43-year low in the state. Throughout 2018, Texas added 391,000 jobs.
Mining and logging jobs, a category used by the [U.S. Department of Labor] that includes oil and gas employment, rose by 18 percent from 2017 levels.
Construction jobs throughout the state grew by 6.4 percent over 2018, which was the second-fastest growth rate among the state’s major industries. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land region had a total civilian workforce of about 3.45 million as of December—about 140,000 more civilian workers than a year earlier.
•Houston will be the latest expansion market for Offerpad, a phoenix-based platform that attempts to value as well as buy and sell homes. The company, which opened in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year, opened a local office in The Woodlands on January 15. It plans to expand to San Antonio by the end of March. Offerpad was founded in 2015 and uses algorithms to come up with valuations on homes. The company’s Houston operation will include service in 86 cities in the area, including Bellaire, Pearland, Sugar Land, Seabrook and Friendswood.
•Houston was among the cities with the steepest rate of rent growth in the country last year, according to data from Abodo, a Madison, Wis-based firm that matches renters with apartments. Houston ranked 8th on the list nationally, with an average rent increase of 1.84 percent for every month of last year.