Sluggish Recovery? Not in Dallas-Plano-Irving
May’s job growth for Texas and the U.S. was disappointing, but Dallas-Plano-Irving has a different story. The eastern side of the metro area created 17,400 jobs last month, accounting for half the new jobs statewide. That’s more than double its usual share and easily led Texas metros.
May’s job gains also were the highest for Dallas-Plano-Irving since November. They provided a sharp contrast to the state’s slow pace of growth, which lagged the U.S. increase in May.
“Dallas did great, and that was very encouraging,” said Pia Orrenius, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “We saw a huge rebound in the services sector, especially professional business services — and that’s where we’re strong in Dallas.”
Over half a million people work in the sector in Dallas-Plano-Irving, and it added 3,100 jobs last month, according to Texas Workforce Commission data. A subset of the group — professional, scientific and technical services — added 900 positions and surpassed its pre-pandemic peak several months ago. Through May, this subset of highly skilled professionals was about 7,000 jobs ahead of its February 2020 total for the D-FW region. That’s impressive territory: Nationwide, the subset was still down 62,000 jobs since the pandemic.
“We love to see growth there,” Orrenius said. “The salaries are high, the jobs are really good. That’s good growth and that’s good news for Dallas.”
The professional, scientific and technical services sector includes accountants, architects, lawyers and management analysts. Last year, median pay in the sector ranged from $58,000 to $128,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics...