Sure, the economy is creating jobs; guess where?

posted at 8:01 pm on February 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

California Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration yucked it up when Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered an open invitation to California companies to come on down and check out the Lone Star state’s business climate, chiding that maybe Texas should devote a little more of their time and resources to fixing their own domestic troubles and claiming that California is doing just fine in terms of job creation.

But in Forbes’ latest survey of The Best Cities for Good Jobs, Texas totally spanked California, snagging the top four spots and five out of the top six, while only San Francisco managed to take ninth. Forbes looked at Moody’s data on the hundred largest U.S. metropolitan areas, threw out the cities with high unemployment, and then ranked the contenders based on recent and expected job growth, current unemployment rate, and current and projected per-capita income. The winner?

This year’s winner is Dallas, which shrugged off the Nov. 2011 bankruptcy of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. to rack up 2.1% job growth last year and is projected to continue adding jobs at a 2.8% rate through 2019 – more than 300,000 on top of the 2.1 million already in Dallas and its Plano and Irving suburbs. …

The Texas unemployment rate rose from below 5% in 2007 all the way to a little above 8% in 2010, but now it’s falling back down again to a current 6.2%. The U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10% and is still stuck at about 8%, with states like California, Illinois and New York well above that. …

One explanation that is definitely false: Texas isn’t growing on the backs of underpaid, non-union workers. While Texas is a right-to-work state, many of the highest paying jobs in the Dallas area are with unionized defense manufacturers like Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35 Lightning II fighter at a mile-long plant in Fort Worth. …

Not only is the Dallas-area per-capita income of $39,548 comfortably above the national average of $37,000, but it’s growing fastest in the top half of wages above $16 an hour.

Bazinga. In that same vein, Joel Kotkin‘s piece in today’s WSJ describes the economic trends pointing to four developing corridors that are “generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.” Funnily enough, all of these areas experiencing better-than-average growth tend to be concentrated around states that have made especial efforts to be low-tax, business-friendly areas. Coincidence?

Overall, these corridors account for 45% of the nation’s land mass and 30% of its population. Between 2001 and 2011, job growth in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and the Third Coast was between 7% and 8%—nearly 10 times the job growth rate for the rest of the country. Only the Southeastern industrial belt tracked close to the national average. …

The result is that corridor states took 11 of the top 15 spots in Chief Executive magazine’s 2012 review of best state business climates. California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts were at the bottom. The states of the old Confederacy boast 10 of the top 12 places for locating new plants, according to a recent 2012 study by Site Selection magazine. …

As a result, the corridors are home to most of America’s fastest-growing big cities, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Denver. …

… Yet over the past decade, the number of people with bachelor’s degrees grew by a remarkable 50% in Austin and Charlotte and by over 30% in Tampa, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta—a far greater percentage growth rate than in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or New York.


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