HillCo Partners is a public policy advisory and lobbying firm based in Austin, Texas. It is one of the country’s leading lobbying firms. The firm prepares a monthly economic update for its clients, as part of its communications strategy. The updates are curated to provide its clients with an accurate assessment of the economic situation of Texas. The economic indicators discussed in this report include labor market information, employment statistics, state sales tax revenue, and bond rating.
Labor Market Information
The following is a brief overview of the Labor Market Information, as compiled by the Texas Workforce Commission.
– Unemployment rate: 4.4%
– Total Non-farm employment: 13,207,600
– Jobs Change Over the Year: 731,600
– Annual Growth Rate: 5.9%
The unemployment rate in March 2022, has fallen for the 20th time in two years running. The current unemployment rate is 2 points below March 2021. Nonfarm employment in Texas reached a new high of 13,207,600. This is because there was an addition of 30,100 new jobs in March 2022. The first three months of 2022 have seen more jobs created than any given year since 1990. The financial services sector created the most jobs at 7,800, closely followed by the manufacturing industry at 5,600 jobs. The education and health sector is the closest to reaching the pre-pandemic level.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas also has good news for Texas’ employment landscape. Employment in the state continued to grow at a rate of 2.3% in March. However, this is a significant drop in from the rate in February, which was clocked at 9.4%. Consumer spending has continued to increase.
State Sales Tax Revenue
Glenn Hegar, the Texas Comptroller is responsible for collecting taxes and managing the books as the chief accountant. The Texas Comptroller also publishes monthly updates on the economic situation of the state, including the sales tax collected every month. In March, the State of Texas collected $3.37 billion in sales tax. Compared to last year, this is a 28.5% increase. The tax collected in March is reflective of the sales tax from February. “Receipts from segments stimulated by pandemic spending patterns, including online general merchandisers and home improvement, furniture and sporting goods stores, continue to exhibit very strong growth,” said Glenn Hegar. Sales tax collection has been strong across all economic sectors. There has been significant growth in construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas. The oil and gas sector, however, is yet to reach its pre-pandemic levels.
Texas Bond Rating
Bond Ratings are provided by credit-rating agencies as an indicator of a state’s ability to repay its debts. The higher the credit rating the more trustworthy is the state. Higher ratings also mean lower interest rates. This is beneficial for investors because this implies the security of investment. The three major credit-rating agencies as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch. Texas continues to maintain the highest rating by all three agencies:
Standard & Poor’s: AAA
About: HillCo Partners was founded in 1998 by Neal T. Buddy jones and Bill Miller. Both of them have been ranked as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful People in Texas. HillCo is a full-service firm, its services include policy analysis, regulatory consulting, lobbying, procurement, crisis management, and grassroots organization. It is composed of a team of experienced individuals that are experts in health care, insurance, the environment, education, local government, pensions, sports and entertainment, transportation, and utilities. The firm has been actively involved in shaping policy in Texas.