Category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall just after midnight on August 27, 2020 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, about 35 miles east of the Texas border. While the damage was significant, the economic costs could have been far worse. The Perryman Group estimates that if the storm had made landfall as a direct hit on one of the nearby refining and petrochemical areas (such as Beaumont), the economic losses could have been 8 to 10 times as large as preliminary damage estimates have indicated.
May and June jobs reports for Texas and the state's largest metropolitan areas were encouraging and reflect the fact that as businesses began to reopen, what was essentially a sound economy before the pandemic responded relatively quickly. Nonetheless, employment remains well below pre-COVID-19 levels. The Perryman Group's latest forecast calls for significant year-over-year losses for 2020, but notable recovery next year. If additional interruptions are required as a result of the recent surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Texas, the annual declines will escalate.
The most recent US jobs reports indicate significant gains and decreasing unemployment, but the total increase over the past two months is far below losses during March and April. Moreover, the recent increase in COVID-19 infections may cause the recovery to slow. The situation remains challenging and fluid, and the recovery will likely be bumpy.
The US Supreme Court recently ruled to preserve DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA allows individuals who came to the US as children to remain under certain conditions and was implemented in 2012. Since that time, about 800,000 people have received protection under the act, which requires that recipients either be in school or be employed. Although the decision does not permanently secure the program, it provides critical near-term security to the affected group.
Midland stands at the epicenter of an economic phenomenon of global importance which has created an enormous opportunity for the area. With proactive efforts, Midland can prepare for the challenges ahead and ensure the opportunities associated with oil and gas and related activity benefit the full community.
Discrimination in employment, housing, and access to public places such as restaurants, hotels, and shops leads not only a loss of dignity and opportunity for those on the receiving end of such treatment, but also involves significant economic costs stemming from both a diminished ability to attract knowledge workers and reduced opportunities for tourism, conventions, and related activity. This infographic summarizes key findings in The Perryman Group's recent report: "The Potential Impact of a Comprehensive Nondiscrimination Act on Business Activity in Texas."
A flawed civil justice system which generates exorbitant levels of damages or numbers of awards and which is unpredictable in its outcomes may result in negative impacts through the misallocation of society's scarce economic and human resources. Tort reform can lead to substantial economic benefits, and states which have implemented reforms have seen improved judicial efficiency and measurable advancement in economic performance.
Recent advances in the petroleum sector have led major analysts and energy companies to broadly anticipate expansive increases in Permian Basin production over the next few years. Much of this activity will be centered in the Midland area and the resulting growth will bring enormous potential benefits with profound implications for housing. In light of this growth, it is imperative that additional land be available for residential development. Proactive efforts to deal with issues and prepare for the coming growth can position the area to emerge stronger and more prosperous in the future.
The Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) at the University of Texas Medical Branch is an anchor lab of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. As part of the Biodefense Laboratory Network, GNL is involved in crucial research to better understand, prevent, and treat dangerous pathogens.
65.9% of the current school-age population in Texas belongs to Hispanic, Black, or Asian/other households which, when combined, only account for 11% of the state's household wealth. If we don't provide the needed resources, educational attainment in the state will trend downward and overall economic performance, opportunity, and standards of living will be eroded over time.