Energy to Help Texas Economy Outpace Nation’s
From Fuel Fix
By Lynn Brezosky
The flourishing energy sector along with across-the-board private sector hiring will keep Texas’ economic growth moving faster than the nation’s, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predicted Wednesday.
“We’ve gone from recovery to expansion,” senior economic policy adviser Keith Phillips told those attending the San Antonio Area Foundation’s annual meeting and investment luncheon. “The United States is at least a couple of years away from regaining jobs, where in Texas almost all of the large (urban) areas regained all the jobs lost and are now adding to that.”
Petroleum jobs helped put Texas at No. 3 in terms of job growth. Like Texas, No. 1 North Dakota and No. 2 Utah are experiencing shale booms.
Texas took a hit when energy prices collapsed in 2009, but now is benefiting from both the bounce back in oil prices and the use of hydraulic fracturing.
“They say there’s hundreds of new millionaires created every month in the Eagle Ford, and I don’t doubt that,” he said.
The bad news is that the labor-intensive jobs needed to get the wells started may have begun to drop off as wells shift into production.
“I don’t think we’re going to see any declines this year in mining (jobs), but we’re not likely to see the big gains that we saw early last year and in 2011,” he said. “Pumping oil doesn’t take much labor. It’s the drilling and setting up these wells that take up a lot of the labor.”
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