A 2012 report cited the Dallas and Fort Worth area in North Texas as one of the three largest urban areas in the nation to have completely recovered from the worldwide economic downturn that led to a plunge in the markets from 2007 to 2009. In the case of Dallas and its surrounding region, the uptick resulted from a growing service sector, particularly in the professional and financial fields. The Texas energy segment also performed well. The combination of these factors continues to drive recovery in the area.
Statistics for both employment and output per capita in the Dallas area have soared back to the levels they attained before the recession began. The North Texas economy would have grown even more rapidly per capita had there not been a surge of more than 10 percent in the population between 2007 and 2012.
While other Texas metropolitan areas such as Austin gained ground in terms of employment, their standards of living continued to lag throughout 2012. By the close of 2013, Texas as a whole saw significant growth in the number of building permits issued, jobs created, and sales tax dollars collected, all indicating a strengthening economy. Over the course of 2013, the state overall added positions in nearly a dozen categories, including transportation, manufacturing, education, and health care services.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was one of the other three metropolitan areas to recover to the extent that North Texas did. In large part due to its location on top of the Marcellus Shale, Pittsburgh’s natural gas industry has boomed. In Knoxville, Tennessee, the third metro area to recover thoroughly by the conclusion of the 2012 study, the construction industry was the driver of growth.
In 2012, the Texas housing industry continued to foster an economic upturn throughout the state. In that year, the state enjoyed its seventh year in a row as the nation’s first-place destination for in-migration. This situation should continue to support the regrowth of construction-related industries and services, which will in turn propel even greater overall economic redevelopment.