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CoStar Market Insights: San Antonio Job Growth Gets a Downward Revision

Job Growth Underperforms Recent History, Outperforms National Rates
April 12, 2018
San Antonio's job growth YOY before and after the BLS' annual re-benchmarking.



San Antonio’s financial and business markets’ enthusiasm about 2017 was dashed a bit when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adjusted its job growth down for the Alamo City last month.

Job growth was revised from a year-end 3.2 percent down to 2.1 percent, a difference of roughly 11,000 jobs.

While it is still stronger than the U.S. average, and much stronger than some coastal markets, the growth rate is well behind its average for this cycle. From 2012 to 2017, annual job growth averaged approximately 3 percent in San Antonio, making it one of the strongest job markets in the country.

One factor that continues to constrain employment growth is the tight labor market. Unemployment was 3.1 percent at the end of 2017, as low as it’s been since the turn of the century, and a full percentage point below the U.S. average.

With few people unemployed in San Antonio, hiring has been tough. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas surveyed 362 executives and nearly 65 percent of those respondents reported difficulty finding skilled workers, primarily due to a lack of applicants.

With oil prices perking back up in recent months, San Antonio could see increased growth moving forward, as Eagle Ford drilling continues to pick back up.

Mining and Logging employment, which is synonymous with natural resource extracting, went up about 11,000 jobs in 2017, representing a more than 15 percent increase over the prior year.

Rising energy prices could also give Texas Gov. Greg Abbot more ammunition to recruit business to San Antonio like he did last year, when Hulu brought on nearly 400 employees for its viewer experience center in Northwest San Antonio.

While the BLS revisions showed that 2017 was weak by comparison to previous years, job growth in San Antonio still outpaced the broader U.S. economy. If 2018 should continue the city’s tradition of outperforming national job growth, it will be the 14th straight year doing so.


CoStar Market Insights provides a snapshot of recent real estate trends. The CoStar Market Analytics team monitors commercial and multifamily real estate across 390 metro areas, with a granular understanding of the projects, players and economic trends that move these markets.

Learn how CoStar Market Analytics can add to your market knowledge, helping to minimize risk and maximize returns.

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