Lone Star Success News

Recovery, Texas Style

August 20th, 2014

by Susan Combs

I don’t know about you but I have been reading a lot about the fact that people across the country are not doing well – even in the summer of 2014 – because of a lack of jobs. In fact, I read that 32 states have not even clawed back to the number of jobs they had when the recession started! That is very sobering news.

So how about Texas? I am glad to say that Texas is totally different. We lost 4 percent of our jobs, but got them back and even added 900,000 more. We were the last in to the recession and we were the first out! That means real money for your average Texan, and with that comes consumer confidence and an environment of stability where businesses can thrive and grow – and hire even more Texans! All of which makes people feel more economic security and safety.

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And it’s nice to feel safe and secure. I talked last week to a man in Houston who has a jewelry business. He told me that one of the main reasons he is still in Texas (he is a 5th generation Texan) is that in our state he has more financial security for his family. Unlike his relatives on the east and west coasts, he is thrilled with his cost of living and future opportunities.

And in many parts of the country folks have been forced onto the home price rollercoaster. In places like Florida, Nevada, and California prices rose, came crashing down, and have been twisting and turning their way back up. Not an ounce of safety. In Texas, we didn’t have the bottom drop out from underneath us – thankfully. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to keep my rollercoasters in theme parks, not in the housing market. Makes me feel safer, more secure.

So is all this good news real? Yes. Texas’ job creation very much outpaced the national average – growing by 31.5 percent versus 12 percent across the country from 1995 to 2011. That is two and a half times as fast. Wow! So this Lone Star Success isn’t recent, and it isn’t fragile.

And here’s another great statistic about Texas jobs: Between 2000 and 2013, Texas employment grew 24.9 percent, while employment in the rest of the U.S. was just 4.7 percent. That is absolutely phenomenal!

And Texas also created more jobs in the top half of the pay scale between 2000 and 2013. Texas has about 8 percent of our nation’s population, but we created nearly one third of the country’s highest paying positions between 2002 and 2011. I like that kind of ratio. And our rational economic policies made it happen.

One more thing to remember: We reward gumption and grit and people who want to live the American dream. So I hope to see a few more folks voting with their feet to come to our great state and help this engine of the economy keep humming along.

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

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