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Fiscal Notes

 

Fiscal Notes

A Review of the Texas Economy from the Office of Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

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By Editorial Staff

Texas Cities Lead Nation in Job Growth

Texas cities once again rank among the strongest in the country when it comes to job growth.

NewGeography.com, a site that analyzes economic, demographic and urban issues, recently ranked small, medium-sized and large U.S. cities on job growth, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data for November 2000 through January 2012.

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos ranked first among large cities, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown second, Fort Worth-Arlington fourth and Dallas-Plano-Irving sixth.

Among medium-sized cities, Corpus Christi was second, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission third and El Paso fourth. Small cities fared well, too, with Odessa ranking first, Midland second and San Angelo fifth.

NewGeography.com noted that, “Energy-rich Texas cities dominate our list — the state has added some 200,000 generally high-paying oil and gas jobs over the past decade — but Texas is also leading in industrial job growth, technology and services.”

(Tracey Lamphere)


Brazos, Lubbock and Randall Counties are Good Investments

Texas’ Brazos, Lubbock and Randall counties ranked among the nation’s top counties in their capacity to attract and retain sustainable investment, according to the 2012 Fourth Economy Index listings for small and mid-sized counties.

Among mid-sized counties nationwide, Brazos County ranked seventh with a Fourth Economy Community (FEC) index score of 1.9 and an “innovation capacity” of A+. Lubbock County ranked ninth with a 1.8 index score and B- in innovation capacity. Randall County was the only Texas county in the top 10 among small-sized counties, ranking 10th with a 1.29 index score and an A in innovation capacity.

According to Stephen McKnight, vice president for Community and Market Assessment for the economic development consulting firm Fourth Economy, the rankings identify five large categories that contribute to an area’s ability to attract and sustain a workforce.

“Without a doubt, educational attainment is number one when businesses are considering areas to start or expand their operations. Without that, a community is going to be at a disadvantage,” McKnight says.

All three counties benefit from educational facilities. Randall County in the Panhandle is home to West Texas A&M, while Lubbock County features Texas Tech University and Brazos County offers Texas A&M.

(Tracey Lamphere)


Commercial Construction on the Rebound

According to an NAIOP Research Foundation study, commercial real estate development and construction rebounded nationwide in 2011, and Texas led the way, posting the highest levels of spending in pre-construction, construction and post-construction phases across all categories of commercial real estate.

The state moved up from second place in 2010. In the 2011 ranking, Texas was followed by New York, West Virginia and California.

In 2011, Texas commercial construction contributed nearly $8 billion in direct and indirect spending and supported 150,102 jobs, more than in any other state.

(Tracey Lamphere)

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