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What the Dallas Fed has to say about the Texas economy...

Awaiting today's release of Texas and Fort Worth-Arlington unemployment figures. Here's some of what the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas had to say yesterday about the Dallas District labor market in its periodic Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions:

Employment: "Most respondents noted steady employment levels. Still, there were scattered reports of layoffs at selected retail, high-tech, emergency vehicle, and construction-related manufacturing firms. On a positive note, staff firms continued to report increased hiring activity. In addition, there were reports of an uptick in staff levels at some energy service, food, high-tech, and transportation manufacturing firms."

Wages: "Wage pressures were non-existent. A few firms reported they either had already given, or planned on giving small pay increases to employees this year. In contrast, real estate contacts noted that people were taking jobs at reduced salaries."

Staffing: "Staffing firms report continued improvement in demand. Orders are streaming in at a solid pace and billable hours are up. Demand is still largely for contract work, but direct hire placements have recently picked up from low levels. Staffing industry contacts were more upbeat in their outlook compared with the previous reporting period."

The Dallas District represents Texas and parts of other states.

To read the full Beige Book, click here to go to the Dallas Fed site.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram  


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