Tags: texas | leads | job | creation | brookings

Texas Leads Nation in Job Creation

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 09:41 AM

By Kenneth Hanner

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Texas continues to be the nation’s bright spot for job creation, with all its major cities having more jobs now than before the 2008-09 recession.

Of the nation’s top 100 metropolitan areas, only 14 have more jobs now than before the economic downturn — and six of them are in the Lone Star State, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.

The highest percentage increase of any city in the nation was the Texas capital of Austin, where the state government, the University of Texas, and a growing high-tech industry have helped the job market.

“Texas has been a bright spot in the recession. Its housing market wasn’t hit as hard,” said Alec Friedhoff, a senior research analyst at Brookings, told The Wall Street Journal. “The oil and gas industry has been a great boon for that part of the country.”

Also on the Brookings list from Texas were San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen, Dallas, and Houston.

The unemployment rate in Texas was 6.4 percent in February, compared to the national rate of 7.7 percent. The state added nearly 360,000 jobs in the past year, the state reported last week.

Compared to the business climate in other parts of the country, Texas has lower taxes and fewer regulations, with cheaper energy and real estate costs.

The Brookings report noted that both the recession and recovery have hit disproportionately in different areas.

“In parts of the country hit hardest by the housing crisis — California, Florida, and the Mountain West — where recessions were deep, recent growth has been swift but a full recovery remains far off,” the Brookings report said. “High-tech metro areas in the Pacific Northwest and those in the Carolinas and Tennessee are growing strongly, too. In contrast, metro areas in the Northeast, where the recession was relatively minor, are exhibiting much slower growth today.”

The other cities on the list of 14 with more jobs now than at the start of the recession are: Omaha, Neb.; Salt Lake City; Pittsburgh; San Jose, Calif.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Washington, D.C.; and Charleston, S.C.

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