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Texas and the Great Recession

Texas and the Great RecessionAlmost everyone knows that Texas has emerged – so far – relatively unscathed by the effects of what’s come to be known as “The Great Recession”.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, according to the January 2012 issue of Tierra Grande, a publication from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, four factors were important to determining whether or not an area would safely weather the economic storm.  Those four were:

1. relative share of employment in the education and health services industry;

2. relative share in government sector employment;

3. relative share of mining and construction employment; and

4. the level of educational attainment (proportion of the area’s workforce with a college degree or higher).

Their conclusions are “that a 10 percent increase in the share of population with a bachelor's degree and higher reduced recession intensity by 1.2 percent.”

I’m not sure I agree – I think they may be “over-fitting” the numbers a bit, but there’s no doubt two of the metro areas that have done well are College Station (33.3) and Austin (38.7) with 33.3 and 38.7 percent of their respective populations having a college degree (bachelor's or better). 

The chart also shows just how cyclical and industry dependent some economies are. Check out the numbers for Midland and Odessa whose primary industries are energy related. The bottom line is that Texas is a big place and while some areas of the state certainly fared far better than others, we can pretty much all agree that the end of the recession is not yet in sight. 

Whatever your opinion, the article is certainly worth a read. Click here for the link to the article as well as the charts and graphs (lots of eye candy and food for thought).

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