The Brazos Valley housing market is looking up for buyers and sellers in 2019. Read more
The Bryan-College Station area’s economy continues to hum along, according to an index that measures a number of economic factors and metrics.
The metro area’s unemployment rate, at 2.9 percent, is tied for the lowest rate of the century in the rapidly growing region. Employment has neared an all-time high of about 120,000 jobs
The College Station-Bryan Business-Cycle Index, released monthly by Texas A&M University’s Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC), attempts to reflect the current state of the economy.
People are spending their money, staying in hotels and buying things such as cars and houses in Bryan-College Station — all indicators that point toward a healthy local economy.
Karr Ingham, an Amarillo-based economist who spoke to attendees at the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce’s economic outlook briefing Wednesday, said the area has experienced an “extraordinary” economic expansion since 2011. General spending, home sales activity, employment and other indicators Ingham uses to prepare the local economic index sponsored by Commerce National Bank are currently at or near record levels, he said, and growth will likely continue moving into 2019.
– Caitlin Clark, The Bryan-College Station Eagle
By Jacob Passy, Morningstar
A boom in certain industries means that some parts of the country are seeing remarkable job growth.
Attention job-seekers: Midland, Texas, is hiring.
The Western Texas city, which is home to 136,000 people, has experienced the largest percentage growth in jobs over the past year of any metropolitan area in the country, according to May data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of people employed in Midland has jumped by more than 11% over the past year, well above the job growth rate nationwide (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-healthy-213000-jobs-in-june-but-unemployment-rate-backs-up-to-4-2018-07-06).
The U.S. added 213,000 jobs in June, but the unemployment rate rose to 4% last month nationwide after dropping to an 18-year low of 3.8% in May, the Labor Department said Friday.
Nearby Odessa, Texas, wasn’t too far behind — the number of jobs there has risen 4.4% since May 2017. Both cities have a single industry to thank for their employment growth: Oil. The Midland-Odessa region is the heart of Texas’ petroleum industry, and the rising price of crude oil has certainly benefitted these cities though recent price declines could spell trouble.
College towns are also job magnets. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind., home of Purdue University, and College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, ranked among the top cities nationwide for job growth over the past year.
Metropolitan area Jobs in May 2017 (thousands) Jobs in May 2018 (thousands) Year-over-year change Midland, Texas 92.4 102.8 11.3% Ocean City, N.J. 43.1 46.3 7.4% Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind. 99.5 106.5 7.0% Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. 137.2 145.3 5.9% Walla Walla, Wash. 27.9 29.5 5.7% Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Fla. 114.6 119.7 4.5% Gainesville, Ga. 89.5 93.5 4.5% College Station-Bryan, Texas 116.6 121.9 4.5% Odessa, Texas 72.7 75.9 4.4% St. George, Utah 64.2 67 4.4% Yakima, Wash. 87.3 91.1 4.4%
Such a trend isn’t unique to the oil industry or West Texas though. Domestic travel has increased in recent years — and the expanded tourism revenue has translated into impressive job growth for many cities across the country.
In Indiana’s Elkhart-Goshen metropolitan area, the number of jobs has increased 5.9% over the past year. The city is host to the country’s two largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles — Thor Industries (THO) and Forest River (BRKA). The RV industry has seen shipments of new vehicles spike 12% over the past year, according to the RV Industry Association.
Tourism also enriched the fortunes for the job markets in other cities, including St. George, Utah, a suburb of Las Vegas, Ocean City, N.J., and Destin, Fla.
GoBankingRates.com has rated College Station as the best city in Texas to live in on a fixed income:
College Station’s relatively low housing costs could be beneficial to someone on a fixed income. Home values crept up by about 2 percent year over year, while rents got cheaper.
No one is surprised these days when College Station gets ranked among the nation’s top college towns, as a great place for business, or as one of the best places to live.
The criteria publications and financial websites use to compile those rankings are usually based on data from the past year. The lists are usually divided into population categories, too.
A website called CardRates.com is different. This week it was bold enough to make predictions about what’s ahead by publishing a list of “10 cities Primed for Economic Growth and Opportunity in 2018.” It included cities as small as 5,178 people (Evansville, Wisc.) to as large as 947,897 (Austin).
By now, you’ve probably guessed that College Station made the list. Why else would we be blogging about it? But you may be surprised that we are ranked No. 1.
That’s right. CardRates says College Station’s economy could be as good as it gets in the entire country in 2018. In developing the list, CardRates took factors such as pay, cost of living and unemployment rates into consideration.
Here’s what they had to say about us:
College Station is located roughly equidistant from Houston and Austin. Although the city has seen a population increase of about 25 percent over the last 10 years, College Station, with fewer than 120,000 residents, is large enough to offer city amenities, while still being small enough to maintain that hometown feel.
College Station’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 2.7 percent, the lowest among the cities on our list, and the median household income has grown more than 80 percent since 2000. The city’s largest employer is Texas A&M University, which has its main campus in College Station, and is nationally recognized as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant Institution.
Here’s the full list:
We already knew we were doing pretty well, but it’s nice – and a bit exciting – to know others feel the same way.