We know Texas weathered the recent national recession better than most states, and it continues to exceed the average in terms of unemployment and job growth, but why? What specific, tangible facts support the case that Texas is a good state in which to do business: Why is it a leader in job growth?
It’s an interesting question, one that many have tried to answer, most recently Mario Favela of the website ‘Moving To Texas.’ And different from many, he made his case in the form of nine very tangible points which we’ve summarized below.
Maybe it’s not perfect, but at the very least it’s a substantive start to a compelling case for why the Lone Star state continues to fair well, and why I for one am just happy to be here.
- Energy – The oil and gas industry is booming in Texas which means jobs, but it’s not just oil. Texas is also a national leader in wind energy production and home to two of the largest wind-farms in the country.
- Strong Economy – It’s not just the energy industry that’s growing jobs. 52 of the Fortune 500 companies headquarter in Texas, the 2nd largest concentration in the country. And the Healthcare, IT, and Manufacturing industries are all strong and growing.
- Business-Friendly Climate – Minimal regulation, tort reform, and right-to-work have helped to create a very employer-friendly environment which many businesses enjoy and thrive in.
- Infrastructure – Texas’ central location helps support both domestic and international trade, with a vast and modern connection of highways, airways, railways, and deep water ports.
- Latin American Trade – Due to proximity it makes sense why Texas has increased trade with countries like Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. And Texas should benefit from the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will allow giant LNG ships access, thereby opening new trade routes for shipping Texas LNG all over the world.
- State Incentives – Texas has specific state incentive programs to help attract new business and encourage economic growth, namely the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and the Texas Enterprise Fund.
- Low Taxes – Compared to other states, Texas is average to higher in terms of franchise and property taxes. But, we have no corporate income tax and no individual income tax, meaning Texans generally get to keep more of what they earn.
- Quality of Life – Culturally and recreationally speaking, Texas literally has it all (you can ski AND surf). And, real estate is relatively cheap, the cost of living is below the national average, and the state higher education system is collectively considered one of the nation’s best.
- Wages – As of May 2012, the average Texas wage was about $44K/year, only slightly behind the national average of about $46K/year, which is somewhat offset by the cost of living, making Texas wages solid overall from a national perspective.