Austin Market Overview
For sheer economic promise, no place beats Texas, according to Newsweek. Though the Lone Star State’s growth slowed during the recession, it didn’t suffer nearly as dramatically as the rest of the country. Businesses have been flocking to Texas for a generation, and that trend is unlikely to slow soon. Texas now has more Fortune 500 companies—58—than any other state, including longtime corporate powerhouse New York.
Nation‐leading job growth continues to set Texas apart from the rest of the national economy. With the addition of 226,000 jobs in 2011, the unemployment rate for Texas dropped from 8.4% to 8.1% (.7% below the national rate). No other state came close to Texas in terms of absolute job growth, and only two states recorded similar percentage gains. Austin’s employment statistics have mirrored, and in many cases surpassed, the favorable climate within the State of Texas. With the recent job growth, Austin’s unemployment rate currently stands at 6.8%.
Strong population gains also persist in Austin and across Texas, as housing affordability and expanding payrolls are enticing in‐migration. Population growth has averaged over 3 percent in Austin and nearly 2 percent in Texas annually since 2000, with the trend expected to continue beyond 2012. The state’s median age is currently 33 years old, four years younger than the national median. Additionally, only 10 percent of the population is older than 65, compared with almost 14 percent for the nation. As a result of these demographic trends, population driven industries have led the Texas market in job growth over the past several years, a trend expected to continue through the foreseeable future. In fact, the state’s educational and health services sector is poised to generate over 275,000 new positions through 2012, an average annual increase of 3.2 percent.
- Texas’s population continues to expand, fueled by solid job growth and a high quality of life. In‐migration is forecast to average almost 142,000 residents annually through 2012.
- The state’s population is expected to grow by 1.6 million people through 2012, an average annual increase of 1.6 percent, nearly twice the national average. The four largest Texas metros are forecast to average population gains in excess of 2 percent per year over the same period.
- Employers in Texas continue to buck the national employment trend by adding positions at a robust pace. Job growth is forecast to average 2.2 percent annually through 2012.
- The Texas economy remains more favorable than that of the nation, driven by a powerful energy sector and significant gains in service‐producing industries. Economic growth in the state has exceeded U.S. GDP for eight of the last ten years and is expected to continue on this path.
- Texas is historically a top performer, even in periods of national economic hardship. During the recession of 1990‐1991, the state’s companies did not shed jobs. More recently, through the 2001‐2003 economic downturns, employers cut around 1.4 percent of the state’s work force, while the national average reduction was 1.8 percent.
- Austin has led the state in GMP growth for seven of the last 10 years, averaging a robust 6.5 percent annual expansion. GMP growth in the metro is forecast to average over 5 percent per year through 2012. GMP growth in Austin is projected to be north of 32 percent, 2007‐2012. This is the highest projected growth rate in the United States.
- Recently the Brookings Institute ranked Austin as the No. 1 city in the US, and No. 26 in the world in terms of job and income growth during the current economic recovery.