employment growth

In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas in the state saw much bigger gains, like North Texas.

The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area ranked No. 2 in job creation in the state (Midland was No. 1), followed by Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7, with 2.7 percent job growth.

“The North Texas economy is more dependent on the U.S. economy, so it’s not energy-based, compared to the Houston or Midland-Odessa economy, where energy has a bigger weight,” said Real Estate Center research economist Luis Torres. “Because the U.S. economy is growing and doing better, you’re seeing that reflected in the Dallas economy.”

In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than a year ago.

Big sectors for job growth were:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
  2. Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
  3. Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
  4. Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
  5. Construction: 3.34 percent growth

“The correlation between the Dallas economy and the U.S. economy is very high, and the main reason is because Dallas is a transportation hub and all the goods and services that pass in the state use Dallas transportation systems,” said Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari.

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According to giant Moving.com, an online source for moving-related services, millennials love Dallas. Like, a whole lot.

Seems that with the job market so tight and everything pretty sucky once they graduate from college, millennials are shunning NYC and the We$t Coa$t for cities with job growth and affordable housing. And guess what, we have both. The cities topping the millenial-friendly list include number one Dallas; Tallahassee; Athens, Ga.; Phoenix; and Pittsburgh.

This was all based on local unemployment rates, affordable rents and home prices and the presence of communities that appeal to Generation Y.

Not sure if that would be the Arts District or the new breweries going up in Trinity Groves.

Dallas’ unemployment rate is well below the national average at 6.5%, and our average monthly rents don’t kill you at $1,314. And this is preaching to the choir: I know what great values our homes are and preach it: median home listing price of $204,900, likely a three bedroom, two bath that is not falling apart.

Tallahassee has cheaper rents at $787 a month, and real estate is cheaper with the median list price holding steady at $159,000. Unemployment in Tallahassee is also low at 6.7%.

But Tallahassee sure has more bugs than we do.

Phoenix rents are cheaper than in Dallas, $828 per month, but I’ll bet the A/C bills more than make up for that. I still do not get Phoenix — all you have is golf, palm trees and pretty mountains. More suitable for Baby Boomers, I would think, who golfs any more? Still, Phoenix holds a 6.6% unemployment rate. Home prices also are a steal but that’s because they went nuts during the boom. Median value home is holding at $185,500.  And that probably was a $500,000 at the height of the boom.

For some reason, Pittsburgh is on this list. OK, it has a 6.3% unemployment rate, average rents in the $1,074 per month range and a median home list price of approximately $143,250. Also snow, sludge, and it’s in Pennsylvania. Aside from Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham College, I don’t get it.