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How low can – and will – we go? Unemployment closing in on lowest levels ever in DFW!

•With 100,000 jobs being added annually in DFW over the last several years, our unemployment rate has moved lower.  At year-end, DFW was at a mere 3.1 percent, compared to 3.9 percent for the US.

•Looking back over our economic history, when unemployment declines to a little below 5 percent, we are considered to be at full-employment.  This level is often termed “frictional” – meaning that everyone who is “employable” already has a job – or is in transition between jobs.

•This lack of readily available workers is why our clients have been asking about labor here in DFW more often in the last year – and are exploring office space and location alternatives to be able to attract and retain talent.

•The last time we can document when our market was this tight was the late 1990’s tech boom, because data only go back to 1990.  At that time, the US stood at 4.0 percent, with Texas a half-percentage point higher.

•The difference then, was that was the “best” our local economy saw and the tech downturn was imminent.

•Today, the consensus is that we have another couple years of strong economic growth ahead. 

•That suggests DFW will continue to experience extremely tight labor conditions.  Given our unemployment trajectory, ongoing job gains, and companies expanding, we could see unemployment hit a definitive new low.  

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; JLL Research​

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