Tech Jobs

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has released its annual Cyberstates report, providing a detailed look at trends in technology employment. It’s a great way to check how Texas is faring relative to other states in a key component of future growth. CompTIA uses a measure of technology employment that includes technology workers across the entire economy. By this measure, the US total reached an estimated […]

Crazy Crude

The growth in crude oil production has been simply crazy. Total production in the Permian Basin rose from levels below one million barrels per day in April 2011 to more than two million July 2016 to three in February 2018 to four less than a year later. Production levels are projected to double yet again in the next few years. Total Texas oil production has […]

Return on Texas Taxes

Texas has one of the best rates of return on taxpayer investments of all states, according to an analysis by WalletHub. The Lone Star State ranked seventh in this measure of the services received compared to taxes paid. In other words, despite all the criticism, Texans tend to get a lot of bang for their buck. Before we get too excited, however, there’s more to the […]

The Short-Term Forecast for the US Economy

Over the next five years, the US economy is likely to experience relatively healthy growth in employment, wage rate increases, and productivity gains. The US economy is essentially at full employment, and job gains are setting the stage for continued growth, particularly as long as inflation remains in check. Recent Federal Reserve statements have indicated a “wait-and-see approach” to future interest rate increases, with timing […]

The Arts

Arts and cultural activity accounted for over $804 billion in US gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 according to data recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in the US Department of Commerce. That’s about 4.3% of total GDP, and growth continues. The BEA definition includes “creative artistic activity, the goods and services produced by it, the goods and services produced in the […]

Balance of Trade

In 2018, the US trade deficit in goods grew to $891 billion, the highest on record, meaning that the value of US imports exceeded exports by more than it ever has. Moreover, imbalance with China soared. Although a trade deficit isn’t necessarily (or even usually) a bad thing in and of itself, the fact that it rose despite trade policy (tariffs) purportedly aimed at reducing […]

Seven in a Row

One of the most visible indicators of economic success is Site Selection Magazine’s “Governor’s Cup” competition, and Texas has won for the seventh consecutive year. The Cup goes to the state with the most major corporate location and expansion projects each year. In addition to winning every round since 2012, the Lone Star State has been coming in at or near the top of the […]

University Research Milestone

One of the most important determinants of economic success (at both a personal and societal level) is higher education. In particular, nationally recognized research universities are essential to future growth. In an increasingly competitive international market, such universities are critical to securing a highly skilled workforce, creating and dispersing knowledge, cultivating entrepreneurship and associated capital investment, attracting high-growth industries, and promoting innovation and economic development. […]

A Not-So-Major Change

Some market watchers and headlines are heralding recent decisions by the Federal Reserve to slow the rate of increase in the federal funds rate as a major shift in policy. I like what is being done, but I respectfully disagree that it is a fundamental change. In the press conference following the December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), Chairman Powell indicated that […]

Oil and Gas and the Economy

Texas’ biggest industry, oil and gas, is growing at a phenomenal pace, and the entire state economy is benefiting. With multipliers among the highest of any type of business, when the energy sector is surging as it is now, it’s generating a high level of other business activity for companies across the economy. In addition, oil and gas jobs generally pay well and there are […]