Texas Rocks Job Creation (Maybe That's Why Californians Are Moving There)


Lone Star Planet

Doubters have been poo-pooing Texas' economic growth ever since it shook off the economic recession even as the rest of the country continues to try to scrape the thing off its shoes. Yeah, Texas may be creating jobs, they say, but only for burger-flippers. But data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas shows that those must be some well-paid burger-flippers. Texas, according to a new paper, outstrips the rest of the country when it comes to creating not just jobs, but jobs that pay well.

In "Texas Leads Nation in Creation of Jobs at All Pay Levels," an article in the latest issue of Southwest Economy, Melissa LoPalo and Pia M. Orrenius write:

Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the nation in all four wage quartiles from 2000 to 2013, even in the middle two wage quartiles, where growth in the rest of the nation was negative and zero, respectively (Chart 1). In Texas, the two upper wage quartiles grew at 28 and 36 percent, respectively, over the 13-year period, corresponding to average annual rates of 2.1 and 2.7 percent. The 13-year figures for the rest of the nation were 0 and 13 percent, corresponding to average annual rates of 0 and 1 percent. In sum, the data show Texas has experienced far greater growth of "good" jobs than the rest of the nation has since 2000.

Texas and California are frequently cited as two competing economic models for the country to consider. The Lone Star State is considered the lower-tax, less red tape contrast to California's bigger government model. In terms of how that's working out, the Washington Post recently pointed to census figures showing that, in 2012, "63,000 people moved from California to Texas, while 43,000 in Texas moved to California."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Capital walks as quickly and far as people. Travis H. Brown, author of How Money Walks, points to IRS figures that track the flow of wealth from some states and to others. From 1992 -2010, California was a net loser of $45.27 billion in adjusted gross income. $6.02 billion of that went to Texas. Texas, on the other hand, gained $24.94 billion in AGI during those years, with California the top source for transfers.

Well, investment and people drive economies, and now we're seeing more payoff in terms of a boom in jobs—"'good' jobs" as LoPalo and Orrenius put it.

Who knew messing with Texas paid so well?