Monday, August 15, 2011
Ten Reasons Why the Texas Economy is Growing That Have Nothing to Do with Rick Perry
Rick Perry may credit much of Texas’ recent economic success to the low-regulation, small-government philosophy he has espoused, but some economists say that the governor’s policies aren’t the only (or even the primary) reason for Texas’ economic health. Texas's unemployment rate currently stands at 8.2%, which is a point below the national average, but nonetheless too high. This alone complicates Mr Perry's claims to be some kind of economic magician, and more generally, some of the underlying factors and political decisions that have helped Texas through the recession can't simply be extrapolated to other states, or scaled to the nation as a whole.
On the plus side, the Dallas Federal Reserve notes that Texas entered the Great Recession late and came out of it early, with job growth standing at 2 percent for 2010 and an expected 3 to 4 percent for 2011. And of the 496,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy between fall 2009 and spring 2011, more than half of that job growth came from Texas — a finding Perry has bragged about recently.
On the other hand, Texas’ unemployment has remained stubbornly high. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the state’s jobless rate increased from 8.1 percent in 2010 to 8.2 percent in June, while the unemployment rate in nearby states remained lower or dropped. And many of the new jobs in Texas have been government and low-wage positions. Though economists say Perry’s low-tax, low-regulation policies have helped the state’s economy, there are many other reasons why Texas’ economy is thriving while other states’ flail. Here are ten of them: