As the saying goes, everything's bigger in Texas. It turns out jobs growth is no exception. Since the beginning of the Great Recession, North Dakota is the only state with a higher percentage of jobs growth as of May 2014 compared with the beginning of the crisis in January 2008, according to NPR. And at 21.2 percent growth, North Dakota dwarfs all other states, leading Texas (8.4 percent growth) by a healthy margin. However, the significant difference in population between the two states underscores the remarkable nature of Texas' recovery.
The reason for that growth, according to Pia M. Orrenius, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, is the oil and gas industry. Strength in those markets creates opportunities in other sectors. But Texas is no one-trick pony - in Dallas, job growth is strong across the board.
"In Dallas, job growth is strong across the board."
Businesses thrive in Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas is a great place to be a small business owner, according to the Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index released at the beginning of July 2015. For the ninth straight month, Dallas led the list of the top performing large cities in the U.S. In June, the city was the only one with a score of over 104 points, beating second-place Detroit by almost a full point. Texas as a whole also ranked well in the statewide counterpart, coming in fourth place with a rating of just under 102.
The Paychex/IHS report wasn't the only source that found Dallas to be a premier spot for business. Forbes ranked the city third on its Best Cities for Jobs 2015 list. Forbes deemed Dallas an "opportunity city" - a metro area where housing prices are relatively low but the job market is strong. Those conditions will drive job seekers to those successful small businesses alluded to in the Paychex/IHS report.
"The DFW Metroplex has seen some significant growth in the last several years in all sectors," says Beacon Hill Technologies Regional Director Troy Steele. "The growth only seems to be accelerating as several major employers are moving to the area. Toyota, Fidelity, Liberty Mutual, FedEx and State Farm, to name a few, all have plans to add over 1,000 jobs apiece to the Dallas Fort Worth area…It is a great time to be looking for a job in Dallas."
Dallas has been in the top 10 in population growth since 2000, which could point to people recognizing the opportunities there. Overall employment has risen 15.7 percent since 2009, including 18.6 percent in professional business services.
Stronger energy market bodes well for Dallas economy
Earlier in the year, the oil industry underwent a massive slide in prices that damaged energy providers all over the world, including here in the U.S. But as prices stabilized, so too did the market. According to The Wall Street Journal, even though oil prices are still down around $50 a barrel, stability is the key factor. The steadying market will lead to increased confidence and more capital spending among businesses.
Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said Texas manufacturers' new orders index rose from minus 10.3 in January to 0.7 in June. A positive number represents orders growth and it was the first such growth in the index since December. As many of these manufacturers work closely with energy providers, that progress could be a sign more job opportunities in the area yet to come.
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