More than oil: The Texas economy rolls through low gas prices
By: Phil Sneed
Texas is known for oil, but there's more to the Lone Star State's economy than black gold. Energy will always be important to Texas, but new industries have grown up in areas like Houston and Austin that provide consistency in the face of declining oil prices. The diversity present in the Texas economy is more important than ever now that oil prices have dropped to their lowest point in years. While this is undoubtedly taking a toll on the thousands who work as part of the massive industry that surrounds oil and gas extraction in Texas, it does not spell doom for the Texas economy.
In spite of lower gas prices, unemployment in Texas has been on a steady decline. As of February, just 4.4 percent of the Texas workforce was unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That represents as huge difference from the U.S. as a whole, which sat at 5.5 percent during the same month. Here's a look at a few industries that are shifting the focus of the Texas economy and contributing to the state's continued success:
While California's Silicon Valley receives all the hype as the destination for new technology companies, Austin has steadily become one of the top locales for tech startups that want to set themselves apart. The city attracts entrepreneurs who want to tap into a well-educated workforce and the area's youthful demographics, according to tech news site VentureBeat.
Of course, Texas's aggressive tax breaks compared to California also help drive traffic as well. The New York Times reported Texas offers $19 billion in tax incentives for companies each year. That's more generous than any other state, and makes Texas ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs. Tech is likely to be a key area of growth for Austin and the surrounding area in the future, and the monetary advantages of working in Texas may bring similar growth to other cities in the state.
The medical industry is enormous in Texas, and Houston has become a particular hotbed for medical research and manufacturing. The city is home to the Texas Medical Center, which Forbes reported possess the largest concentration of health care and research institutions. The density of medical knowledge and research in the area makes it a major draw for anyone who is interested in pursing medicine or starting a business that serves the medical field.
Altogether Texas has added more than 1.8 million new residents in the past 4 years, according to the BLS. The massive immigration to Texas from elsewhere in the U.S. is undoubtedly driven by the state's phenomenal economic performance. As the population has swelled, the construction business has exploded. In each of the past five months, employment in the Texas construction sector has expanded by 7 percent or more.
The growth in all of these industries necessitates the transport of materials throughout Texas. For businesses that have complex shipping needs, working alongside a logistics company is the only option.
Logistics in the Lone Star State
A logistics company provides the coordination businesses need to transport goods efficiently. The transportation industry remains fragmented, and transportation sourcing for a large amount of goods often entails working with several smaller shipping companies. To streamline this process, businesses should contact a dedicated logistics company like Tandem Logistics.
With extensive experience transporting goods inside Texas and to points beyond in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, the logistics experts at Tandem can help any business take advantage of Texas's burgeoning economy. Tandem provides consistent on-time delivery with a range of shipping options that fit any budget and schedule. Every business that requires transport can benefit from improved logistics, and Tandem helps organizations excel.