Austin Market Overview

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.