Urban Uplift

Texas metropolitan areas are leading the way in employment growth, claiming two of the top three spots in the nation in job gains between June 2017 and June 2018. Based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of the 12-month change in nonfarm employment in metropolitan areas with over one million residents as of 2010, the huge New York-Newark-Jersey City area had the largest […]

Trade Across the Pond

Amid the growing concerns and very real costs that are accumulating regarding a trade war, there was recently a glimmer of hope. President Trump announced that the United States and the European Union (EU) would begin negotiations immediately, working toward zero tariffs and improved cooperation. A strong trade agreement is in the interest of both sides, and a little success might help set the stage […]

Good News with a Warning

Every year, CNBC ranks US states on their business competitiveness. For the first time since 2012, Texas topped the list for 2018. The Lone Star State also became the first four-time winner. The ranking includes more than 60 measures of competitiveness and uses data from a variety of sources. In addition to the overall ranking, 10 broad categories are tracked: workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing […]

Prime Time

While Christmas in July has been a well-recognized concept, there is now a semi-official holiday to back it up – Amazon Prime Day. Prime Day (this year a day and a half) is chock full of discounts for Amazon Prime Members, a subscription service that offers free two-day shipping and other amenities and now has over 100 million members, covering more than half of American […]

Brexit Brouhaha

In June 2016, the people of the United Kingdom (UK) voted to “Brexit,” or leave the European Union (EU). It was a divisive issue with a very close margin (about 52% to 48%). Unwinding the UK from the EU is an exceedingly complicated process, and recent news out of London confirms that there is still a long way to go. Economists (including me) and numerous […]

Changing of the Guard

Mexicans have elected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador president by a wide margin. President-elect Lopez Obrador is a left-leaning, long-time politician who ran on a platform emphasizing change and a reduction in corruption and violence. Both major candidates in the race expressed concern regarding President Trump and the state of Mexico’s relations with the United States, but the primary issues for voters were domestic. Reforms over the past […]

End of an Era

General Electric (GE) was recently eliminated from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (or simply “the Dow”), after more than a century as part of the index. GE was one of the 12 original stocks included in the index when it was developed in 1896, and while it had come and gone from the index twice in its early days, the company had been continuously part […]

Not Measuring Up

The Lone Star State is attracting more major corporate locations than any other (and has for a number of years) and is adding jobs at a strong pace. Growth is broad based, covering the spectrum from cornerstone industries to emerging sectors. While I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, some recent statistics show one critical area where the state is falling behind: support for public […]

Job Market Strength

By almost any of the usual measures, the job market is better than it has been in decades. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May 2018 was 3.8%, the lowest level in nearly 20 years. Job gains have averaged 179,000 over the last three months, with millions more people now employed than a year ago. […]

Texas Wind

Texas has more capacity to generate electricity from wind than any other state. In fact, Texas’ capacity of 22,799 megawatts is triple that of second-place Oklahoma and is larger than most countries around the world. The Lone Star State also tops the list for capacity currently under development. Smart policy decisions decades ago have been the key to the development of the Texas wind power […]