Texas is Weathering the Economic Storm

This is good news if you live in Texas, which I do.

From The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson:

No state is thriving in the wake of the Great Recession. But compared to the rest of the country, Texas is experiencing something like an economic boom.

Pick your category, and Texas dominates. Three of the top five most resilient major metro areas for employment are in Texas: McAllen at one, Austin at three, and San Antonio at five. El Paso and Houston make the top 15. How about state debt? Texas ranks fourth in the country. Texas cities claimed four of the top five spots in the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities Index, four of the top ten of Forbes’ “Cities Where the Recession is Easing,” and another four spots in last year’s Top Ten in Homebuilding (admittedly, a bit like winning a Warmest Ice Cube contest).

Talk to folks in Texas about their state’s good fortune, and they’ll also point out that the Lone Star State would be the 15th largest economy in the world if it were really alone, and that 64 Fortune 500 companies call Texas home, more than any other state. For relish: more Americans are moving into Texas than any other state, and CNBC recently named it Top State for Business for the second time in three years.

He gives four main reason why he thinks Texas has done so well (comparatively):

1. A Late Start
Texas has fared better in this recession partly because it got a late start. Early 2008 was a period of high energy prices and Texas was seeing a quiet energy boom, said Keith Phillips, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The high-tech industry also provided a bit of a buffer. […]

2. Stable Real Estate
Real estate executives and economists struggled to find one reason why the Texas economy largely avoided the real estate boom and bust, but a few theories emerged. […]

3. The Right Mix
Texas’ major cities have picked some of the more stable industries: especially Houston as the nation’s energy hub, Austin as an education and high-tech leader, and San Antonio as a rock of stability on the pillars of health care, education, and military spending. […]

4. Something About Texas
Maybe it’s the lack of a state income or capital gains tax. Or the dearth of union workers. Or the plentiful labor supply on the border of Mexico, or the lower wages, or the stable and lean regulations. There’s something about Texas that makes it the most popular place for business to do its business, as CEO Magazine and CNBC both found the last year. […]

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