Texas’ Economy Continues to Outpace the Nation | Trade and Industry Development

Texas’ Economy Continues to Outpace the Nation

Nov 04, 2010 | By: Governor Rick Perry


Measuring up to Texas is no small task. While the national economy begins showing signs of recovery, the Lone Star State has continued to shine through the economic recession that gripped the globe. With a diversified economy, reasonable tax and regulatory structure and solid incentive programs, it’s no wonder more than 1,200 people move to Texas every day. 


Texas is without a doubt the best state in the nation to do business. Under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, Texas’ business climate continues to garner national and international attention. Texas is one of the few states to see employment increases over the last 12 months (May 2009 – May 2010), and has the lowest unemployment rates among the nation’s ten largest states.


These accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. In March, CEOs rated Texas the number one state for business and job growth for the sixth year in a row in a survey by Chief Executive Magazine. In July, CNBC ranked Texas as the Top State for Business in its annual economic report. Additionally, Texas is home to the most Fortune 1000 companies in the nation, and no other state has more Fortune 500 companies.


Spanning more than 267,000 square miles, Texas has an abundance of natural resources, and is the nation’s number one producer of oil, gas and refined chemical products. Texas’ marketed production of natural gas represents one third of the U.S. total supply, and contributes roughly 5.3 percent of worldwide oil and gas refinery capacity. Texas is also leading the nation in wind generation and capacity, allowing the state to diversify its energy options and capitalize on the benefits of clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy.


Texas is also a top-ranked global destination for foreign direct investment. If it were a nation, Texas’ $1.18 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 would make it the 11th largest in the world, putting the Lone Star State ahead of India, South Korea and Mexico. Texas continues to enjoy its position as the nation’s top exporting state for the eighth year in a row, with more than $163 billion in annual exports. Texas’ biggest trading partners, Mexico and Canada, account for approximately 43 percent of the state’s total exports.


Texas’ expansive resource capacity and strong trade partnerships provide an incredible opportunity for business growth and job creation, and have helped establish the second-largest civilian workforce in the U.S. To continue providing a capable workforce for the future, the state is aggressively working to improve public education by pursuing higher accountability and graduation standards, and creating a more rigorous curriculum to prepare students to compete in the global economy.


Additionally, Texas has an estimated 1.25 million students enrolled in the state’s 143 institutions of higher learning, with more than 160,000 degrees awarded annually. This highly educated work force meets the needs of the state’s growing businesses and industries. The Lone Star State boasts the nation’s second largest pool of graduate engineers and graduate scientists, both life and physical.


To capitalize on Texas’ abundant resources and educated workforce, state leaders have implemented comprehensive legislation to provide incentives that further strengthen the state’s competitive advantage, both nationally and internationally.


At the governor’s request, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in 2003, and has continued to reauthorize the program each session. This innovative, deal-closing fund provides incentives to businesses looking to expand or relocate to the state, creating jobs for Texans and strengthening the state’s economy. TEF projects are awarded based on potential capital investment, job creation, wages generated, financial strength of the applicant, applicant’s business history, analysis of relevant business sectors, and a project’s federal, local government and private sector financial support. To date, the TEF has created more than 55,500 new jobs for Texans and generated more than $14 billion in capital investment.


Another powerful incentive tool is the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), a $200 million initiative created by the Legislature in 2005 at Gov. Perry’s request to encourage innovation, research and partnership in emerging technologies between the private sector and Texas’ institutions of higher learning. To date, the TETF has awarded more than $234 million in grants.


The TEF and TETF are essential components in the state’s long-term job creation strategy, which is focused on six emerging industry clusters: Advanced Technology and Manufacturing; Energy; Aerospace and Defense; Biotechnology and Life Sciences; Information and Computer Technology; and Petroleum Refining and Chemical Products.


The advanced manufacturing cluster accommodates some of the most thriving industries within Texas including:


Plastic Resins:

  • 2009 exports valued at $30.9 billion

  • In 2009, this was Texas’ second largest category of exports

  • Major employers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Exxon Mobil Chemical, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours, INVISTA and LyondellBasell Industries



  • 2009 primary exports valued at $4.9 billion

  • Texas’ eighth largest category of exports in 2009

  • Major primary metal employers include U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Trinity Industries, JSW Steel (USA), Gerdau Ameristeel US, and Waste Management, Inc.

  • Primary metals exports include the iron and steel industries


Fabricated Metals:

  • 2009 exports valued at $5.5 billion

  • Texas’ seventh largest exporting category in 2009

  • Major employers include BWXT Pantex LLC, Berry Contracting, Naturalite Skylight Systems, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America and TD Industries


Plastics and Rubber:

  • 2009 exports valued at $2.5 billion

  • Texas’ 12th largest exports category in 2009

  • Major employers include Inteplast Group Ltd., Formosa Plastics, Poly-America, Pactiv Corp. and Dart Container Co. of Texas


Texas’ outstanding economic environment, beautiful landscapes, warm weather and famous hospitality have made it the ideal choice for people and businesses looking to relocate. Additionally, Texas is one of the most affordable places to live, and the second most popular U.S. state in which to retire, with the cost of living composite index for most Texas metropolitan areas lower than the national composite index of 100.


The Lone Star State’s sunny beaches, rugged mountains, endless prairies and piney woods provide a spectacular diversity of geography and wildlife. This same diversity extends to the people who call Texas home, creating a rich cultural heritage and unparalleled quality of life.


Texas’ predictable regulatory climate, low taxes and skilled workforce keep the state in the spotlight and attract jobs and companies from around the world. Prudent and fiscally conservative decisions have strengthened Texas’ economic infrastructure and proved that no matter the industry, Texas is Wide Open for Business.


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