News around Texas, September 2011
Sep. 30, 2011Unemployment decreases in Liberty County for second straight month
The unemployment rate declined for a second straight month in Liberty County, with the August unemployment rate at 10.9%, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The county’s unemployment rate stood at 11.4% in July and at 11.7% in June. Read more at the Cleveland Advocate.
Sep. 30, 2011Home sales continue to increase in Wichita Falls
For the second consecutive month, home sales and sales volume were up in August in Wichita Falls. Extremely low mortgage rates coupled with a flattening of home prices make homeownership very affordable in the area. Read more at the Times Record News.
Sep. 29, 2011El Paso growth outpaces most metro areas
While the El Paso economy grew slowly in the second quarter, it grew at a faster pace than most other large U.S. metros. According to the Brookings Institute, El Paso ranked 12th among the nation’s 100 largest metros, with economic output up 0.6% in the second quarter. Read more at the El Paso Times.
Sep. 29, 2011Texas sees first job decline in almost a year
After adding jobs for almost a year, Texas stumbled slightly last month, losing 1,300 jobs in August. According to data from the Texas Workforce Commission, the decline caused the year-over-year growth rate to dip to 2.4% in August from 2.6% in July. Read the full story at the Houston Chronicle.
Sep. 28, 2011San Antonio shows economic growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the San Antonio-New Braunfels area’s gross metropolitan product grew 3.56% in 2010 to $82 billion. The area ranked 38th out of the 366 U.S. markets. Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.
Sep. 28, 2011Arlington is the best place to live and work
A new report entitled "Best Cities: Where Work & Home Meet" puts Arlington at the top of a list of cities with the most affordable housing and plentiful job openings. Arlington came in first for the most affordable options for both renters and buyers. Read more at FINS.
Sep. 27, 2011Weatherford is the fifth-best place to retire
According to Money magazine, Weatherford is the fifth best place to retire. Weatherford is recognized for maintaining its own identity despite the growth of the nearby Dally/Fort Worth area, providing affordable wide-open spaces, and lacking in a state income tax. Also making the list of the “25 best Places to Retire,” Austin and Georgetown ranked at 16th and 25th, respectively. Read more at CNNMoney.
Sep. 26, 2011McAllen first in job demand, worst in worker education
While the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area was the top metro in the nation positioned to cushion its job market during the recession, the area was recently ranked dead last by the Brookings Institute due to its shortage of educated workers who can satisfy employer needs. Read on at The Monitor.
Sep. 26, 2011Employment slips slightly in Tyler
Despite Tyler area employment rates dipping slightly in July from the previous month, the area’s employment rate still remained higher than state and national rates. Local employment was 91.7% in August compared to 91.5% for Texas and 90.9% nationwide. Read more at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Sep. 23, 2011Southeast Texas unemployment rate remains steady
The jobless rate for Southeast Texas stayed at 11.5% for August, but significant shifts in numbers point toward hiring weaknesses in Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange counties. Read more at the Beaumont Enterprise.
Sep. 23, 2011Texas adds jobs for 20 consecutive months
The state’s private sector continued to grow in August, adding 8,100 jobs. Texas has experienced growth in the past 16 months, with annual growth rates above 2% for the last three months. Read the full release from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Sep. 22, 2011Tyler homes sales rise for third month in a row
Home sales increased for the third consecutive month in August for the Tyler area. Last month, 295 houses sold, a 23.95% increase compared to August 2010. Read the full story at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Sep. 22, 2011The Texas can-do attitude
Texas fared well on Newsweek’s recent ranking of “America’s 20 Can-Do Capitals,” with five Texas cities making the list. El Paso topped all others with a score of 71.4. San Antonio ranked fourth with 61.6, Austin tenth with 59.4, Dallas 13th with 58.5, and Fort Worth 14th with 58.1. Read more at Newsweek.
Sep. 21, 2011San Antonio ranked as the best place in the U.S. for jobs
A recent survey by the Manpower Group reveals San Antonio has the most optimistic hiring forecast for the fourth quarter. Long lists of diverse employers, continued job creation, and low cost of living are all cited as reason why San Antonio stand out. Read more at Forbes.
Sep. 21, 2011El Paso ranked first for housing-market recovery
According to a recent rating by the Housing Predictor, El Paso is expected to grow 3.7% this year, making it the top market for recovery in the housing market. A robust local economy and U.S. military realignment program are cited as key drivers. Read more at Housing Predictor.
Sep. 20, 2011Lubbock home sales shoot up in August
Consumer confidence and low interest rates on new mortgages are driving housing activity in Lubbock. According to the Lubbock Association of REALTORS®, sales in the higher ranges of Lubbock’s existing housing market pushed the average sales price to a new record in August. In addition, sales volume and median price were up compared to August 2010. Read the full story at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Sep. 20, 2011Number of underwater homes in Texas well below national average
According to data from CoreLogic, 11.8% of residential properties in the Dallas area were declared to have an “underwater” mortgage for the second quarter of 2011. Statewide, 10% of all residential properties were upside down. Both percentages fell well below the national average of 22.5%. Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.
Sep. 19, 2011Austin’s economic output grows
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, economic output for the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area was up 6.97% in 2010 over the previous year, placing it 35th out of 366 U.S. markets. Houston was among the top five largest U.S. markets, with a gross metropolitan product of $384.6 billion. Read more at the Austin Business Journal.
Sep. 19, 2011Three Texas cities rank in Forbes’ The Best Small Places
College Station, Abilene, and Longview ranked ninth, 48th and 56th on Forbes’ The Best Small Places for Business and Careers list. All three cities were ranked based on their quality of life and business opportunities. Read more at the Abilene Reporter News.
Sep. 16, 2011North Texas home sales jump up in August
Sales in North Texas made a huge jump in August, rising 27% from a year ago. Mortgage rates, which reached their lowest level in six decades, are a possible driver of the housing market. Read the full story at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Sep. 16, 2011Midland and Waco make ‘Improving Markets’ Index
According to the newly launched Improving Markets Index, Midland and Waco made the list of only 12 metros in the nation that have consistently shown signs of improvement. To make the list, a metro area must show at least six months of improvement in housing permits, employment, and home prices. Read more at Inman News.
Sep. 15, 2011Houston and DFW second and third for job growth
According to the most recent On Numbers analysis, Houston and DFW ranked second and third in the nation for the most private sector jobs added in the past year. Between July 2010 and July 2011, Houston added 67,900 jobs, followed closely by DFW at 67,400 jobs. Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.
Sep. 15, 2011Temple home sales follow national upward trend
Temple existing home sales and median prices increased in July, following trends in the state and nation. Residential sales increased 12% in Temple in July compared to July 2010. Read more at the Temple Daily Telegram.
Sep. 14, 2011Midland-Odessa economy approaches record territory
July marked the 17th consecutive month the Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index posted increases as it recovers from the 18-month decline that followed the national and global economic downturn. While it is still below 4%, its peak in December 2008, the July index was up 12.2% over July 2010. Read the full story at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
Sep. 14, 2011Texas energy sector fuels state economy
According to the “Beige Book” released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Texas energy sector continues to drive the state’s economy. Despite many other sectors remaining flat, economic activity has grown at a modest pace since July 2010. Read the full story at the Dallas Business Journal.
Sep. 13, 2011Texas home sales increase
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Texas economy continues to outpace the nation with gains in employment and home sales in July. The Lone Star State added 25,900 jobs in July while home sales increased 1.5% from June. Read the full story at Housing Wire.
Sep. 12, 2011DFW is fourth most-populous metro area in nation
DFW is the fourth-largest metropolitan in the United States with an estimated population of 6,554,919. The Houston-Baytown-Sugarland area follows in fifth place with 6,139,797 residents. Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.
Sep. 9, 2011Austin apartment rents highest in Texas
Austin apartment rents increased 10.1% over the past six months, keeping its rank of the highest cost-per-unit apartment market in Texas. Currently, the market is at its tightest rate in 10 years, with the occupancy rate at 95.4%. Read more at the Austin Business Journal.
Sep. 6, 2011Texas manufacturing slows
U.S. consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in five months in July, a further sign the economy is not falling back into recession despite manufacturing activity in Texas nearly stalling this month. Read the full story at Reuters.
Sep. 2, 2011Texas economic activity up for fourth straight month
The Texas Economic Activity Index has shown consistent, strong performance over the first half of 2011, with June marking the fourth straight month of increased activity. Read more at the Dallas Morning News.
Sep. 2, 2011Austin home prices steadier than national average
While most markets in the U.S. are still declining, Austin-area home prices continue to hold steady. According to the latest Home Price Index, Austin-area home prices rose 0.1% in July and 0.7% when distressed sales aren’t factored in. Read the full story at the Austin Business Journal.
Sep. 1, 2011San Antonio one of the hottest spots for entrepreneurs
San Antonio has become the cybersecurity hub for the U.S. with more than 80 information-technology and cyber-related businesses, a figure that is growing rapidly as entrepreneurs continue to flock to the city. A qualified job force and strong government agency presence are cited as the key reasons this sector has continued to grow in San Antonio. Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.
Sep. 1, 2011West Texas housing shortage threatens growth
While the booming oil and gas industry in West Texas has kept the unemployment rate low, the rapid population growth in the area is causing an extreme housing shortage. This could hinder the growth for the area until more housing is built, as the shortage is also causing an employment shortage. Read more at KOSA.
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