The Count

The 2020 census is at risk due to inadequate funding, planning, and staffing, and the consequences could be quite significant. The practice of counting and collecting information about the populace dates back to ancient times and, in fact, the source of much of our knowledge about the past. In the United States, the first census was conducted in 1790, shortly after the Constitution was adopted, […]

Looking Ahead to 2018

I am now entering my fifth decade in the forecasting business (I started very, very young). One of the things I can assure you from these years of experience is that you truly never know what a year will bring (or a day, for that matter). Nonetheless, I thought it would be good to start 2018 with a few thoughts about some of the things […]

A Look Back at 2017

It’s been a heck of a year. From an economic perspective, we saw both good things and bad. Here’s a rundown of the events and emerging trends I think will have the most long-lasting effects on the economy. In January, President Trump was inaugurated. One of his first official actions was to withdraw from the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It was largely a symbolic […]

The Long-Term Economic Forecast for Texas Metropolitan Areas

Much of the economic activity in Texas occurs within the state’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). These urban centers are the primary leaders in business and trade for individuals and companies across the state, though smaller population centers and rural areas still make a significant contribution. As a group, the state’s largest metropolitan areas account for 74.8% of employment in the state and 80.3% of […]

The Long-Term Economic Forecast for Texas

Taking a long-term view of the outlook for the Texas economy, I am encouraged, yet also cautious. With all of the key ingredients for economic success, the state is well positioned for expansion in business activity and the prosperity that goes with it for decades to come. However, continued economic performance hinges on adapting to the underlying changes in the population and workforce. Recently, the […]

The Long-Term Forecast for the United States

The US economy has been performing well, setting the stage for future growth. Much of the slack in the labor market has been eliminated. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate is down to 4.1%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of unemployed persons was 6.5 million, down 1.1 million since January. About 1.6 […]

A Two-Million-Job Issue

The clock is ticking on a two-million-job issue: finding a permanent solution to replace Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DACA program allows individuals who entered the United States as children to remain here for school or work. Nearly 800,000 persons across the country are enrolled in the program, and approximately 124,300 of these individuals (often called “Dreamers”) live in Texas. DACA was never […]

Keys to Texas’ Economic Success

I was recently asked by the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness to offer a perspective on some of the issues affecting Texas’ future performance. The Committee’s purpose in the hearing was to address “principles that… should guide the state’s pursuit of long-term economic growth.” I am pleased that members of the legislature are thinking in these terms, as it is essential to long-term prosperity. […]

The Importance of the Hispanic Workforce

More than 40 million people in the United States identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up from fewer than 28 million in 2003 according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Hispanics may be of any race, and include Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central and South Americans, and others. Hispanics are a large and growing component of the workforce, a pattern which […]

The Changing of the Guard

President Trump has nominated Jerome H. Powell to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, succeeding Janet Yellen when her term expires in February. The Federal Reserve Chairmanship is among the most powerful positions in the public sector (or, in fact, anywhere), due to its substantial influence over the US economy and, indeed, the fortunes of nations throughout the world. […]