DALLAS LEADING ECONOMIC GROWTH
It might be snowing and slow going on the roads but you can’t stop the fabulous economic growth in our fabulous Dallas as well as other booming metro centers.
Nearly all U.S. cities are forecast to see economic growth this year — even places that have been slow to recover from the Great Recession, according to a report released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area also will see strong steady growth this year, but it will be down slightly from the fast pace of the last two years.
All but seven of 363 metropolitan areas will see economic gains, compared with about a quarter that contracted last year, according to the report.
“We’re in the real recovery, not just the recovery that economists talk about,” Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., president of the mayors group, told Bloomberg News.
Increased consumer spending and business investment drove faster U.S. economic growth in the third quarter — the fastest pace since 2011. Forecasters expected growth will accelerate this year.
While 340 metros will see economic growth of 1 percent or more this year, up from 183 in 2013, 69 metros, including Dallas-Fort Worth, will see growth of 3 percent or higher.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s economy is expected to expand by 3.3 percent this year, compared with 3.4 percent last year and 4.3 percent in 2012.
The energy factor
Some of last year’s biggest economic and job gains were in states, such as Texas, where oil and natural gas business boomed.
Midland and Odessa ranked as the nation’s two fastest-growing metro economies in 2013, growing 7.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
The report’s top 10 list also included Sioux Falls, S.D.; Fargo, N.D.; and Cheyenne, Wyo. — all areas that also have benefited from increased oil and gas production.
Shreveport, La.; Decatur, Ill.; and Binghamton, N.Y., were among last a year’s worst performers. The seven areas that will see flat or negative growth are Cumberland, Md.; Salisbury, Md.; Hagerstown, Md.-Martinsburg, W.Va.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Glen Falls, N.Y.; and Wichita Falls, Texas.
“It’s taken a long time for the economy to ramp up across the U.S.,” said report author Jim Diffley, chief regional economist for HIS Global Insight. “It’s been a horrible recession, with an even much longer period of recovery.”
Employment and unemployment
While the nation has not recovered all of the jobs lost since the recession ended in mid-2009, employment gains this year should be felt across the country, according to the report.
All but six metropolitan areas are projected to gain jobs this year.
Some 297 metros will see job growth of 1 percent or more, up from 185 metros in 2013. Seventeen metros, including Dallas-Fort Worth, will see job growth of 3 percent or higher.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s job growth is projected to be 3.1 percent, compared with 3.4 percent last year.
Forty percent of metros (148), including Dallas-Fort Worth, are projected to have a 2014 unemployment rate of 6 percent or less. And 128 metros are projected to have an unemployment rate of 7 percent or higher this year or 2014.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s unemployment rate is expected to decline to 5.2 percent by the end of this year from 5.6 percent in November.