Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is officially in the running for the Republican presidential nomination, journalists and econ bloggers from almost every national news outlet have examined the Texas’ economy in excruciating detail. The fact that Texas has produced nearly 40% of all new jobs in the US since 2009 has been regurgitated over and over again, and the state’s remarkable population spike has repeatedly been cited as a reason for the big employment growth.
But more than those shared story lines, writers have offered another strikingly similar theme in their Texas critiques: many have pointed to the wave of oil and gas jobs as the key driver of the state’s economic boom.
To be sure, energy employment is part of Texas’ growth, as EMSI highlighted in June. But it’s far from the biggest part. CNNMoney did a nice job laying out the super-sectors that have done well in the Lone Star State, and we’re going to drill down even further using EMSI’s detailed data to see which specific industries are fueling the state’s growth.
How Texas Stacks Up
It’s true that Texas has accounted for a large share of new jobs in the US, and that’s not just the case since 2009. Going back to 2001, Texas has added more than 2.1 million jobs, according to EMSI’s latest complete dataset, while the rest of the nation has combined for 6.2 million new jobs.
But Texas is a massive state, of course, with a population of more than 24 million. So to even the playing field, let’s look at percentage job growth.
As it turns out, there are only four states that have grown from 2001 to 2011 and from 2009 to 2011.
Like Texas, Wyoming and Utah have also had 18% growth since 2001, but no state has performed better since 2009 than North Dakota. Its employment base has grown 5% in the last two years, compared to 2% for Texas. But because North Dakota has a much smaller population — and workforce — than Texas, its growth typically doesn’t get mentioned in discussions like these.
Energy is a Big Player — But Not the Biggest One
Oil and gas extraction employment in Texas has more than doubled in the last 10 years, and support industries for drilling have also boomed. Altogether, the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector has jumped from over 230,000 jobs in 2001 to just under 490,000 in 2011.
But that’s only a fraction of the 14.2 million jobs in the state, and the oil and gas growth accounts for slightly more than 10% of all new jobs in the state since 2001.
What have been the biggest job gainers? Health care and social assistance (421,000-plus) and government (nearly 282,000) have made the largest additions to their payrolls in the last decade. It should be noted, however, that government jobs have declined in the last year — and were growing stagnant before then.
Yet once you extract federal government jobs, it’s clear that state and local government employment is doing considerably better in Texas than other states. Texas is one of 10 states that have seen increases in state and local government jobs since 2009, and its growth (29,287) is nearly nine times that of the state with the second-most growth, Kentucky (3,327).
These numbers don’t exactly bolster Perry’s small-government agenda claims.
State and Local Government Job Change (2009-11)
In terms of detailed sub-sectors, temporary health services, crude petroleum/natural gas extraction, and home health services have been the strongest performers in Texas since 2009. Overall, 19 industries have added at least 5,000 jobs since ’09, of which electric power distribution has had by far the largest percent growth (111%).
||Temporary Help Services
||Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction
||Home Health Care Services
||Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations
||Electric Power Distribution
||Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists)
||General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
||Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Managing Offices
||Drilling Oil and Gas Wells
||Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers
||Discount Department Stores
||Nursing Care Facilities
||Office Administrative Services
Key Regional Industries
We also looked at the most concentrated industries in Texas, as compared to national employment concentration, to see which industries are unique to the state and tend to be export-oriented. Oil and gas extraction — and the production of equipment for extraction — figure prominently among this group of industries.
Crude petroleum/natural gas extraction is more than 4.5 times more concentrated in Texas than the nation, and it accounts for more than 300,000 jobs. Other industries with high LQs and large employment bases: support activities for oil and gas operations; engineering services; and office administrative services.
For more on Texas’ economy, be sure to read Tyler Cowen’s post at Marginal Revolution. And for more on Texas’ growth, check out this piece on the top cities in the US.
Illustration by Mark Beauchamp