About 72.4 percent of Texans live in the state’s biggest metropolitan areas, a proportion which has been rising over time. Though smaller population centers and rural areas make a significant contribution (particularly those in the oil-rich regions of the Permian Basin, South, and East Texas), The Perryman Group’s long-term forecast indicates that, through 2045, over 80 percent of new jobs will be in one of the seven largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Texas.
The Austin-Round Rock MSA remains one of the top performers in the state and continues to attract national attention; the area is projected to be a strong performer over the forecast horizon. Nearly 665,100 new jobs are likely to be added by 2045, which represents a 1.78 percent annual growth rate.
The Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division has been performing very well, and expansion will likely continue at an impressive pace. Employment is expected to increase by 1.67 million during the 28-year period, a 1.78 percent annual growth rate.
The Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Division has been performing well over the past year, and our long-term forecast indicates growth at rates well above the nation as a whole and similar to the state. Employment is projected to expand by nearly 587,200 jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 1.58 percent.
The El Paso MSA has recently been experiencing modest growth, a pattern which is expected to continue. Though slightly behind the pace of the rest of the state, the area is projected to see employment expansion at a rate of 1.52 percent yearly (for a gain of about 187,200 jobs).
The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA has seen healthy growth buoyed by the energy sector. Through 2045, employment is expected to increase by approximately 1.8 million to reach 5.0 million, an annual growth rate of 1.64 percent.
The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA has experienced spotty growth during the past year, although the unemployment rate remains among the highest in the state. The area is projected to see employment growth on par with the other large MSAs, adding over 156,900 jobs through 2045 (a 1.64 percent annual growth rate).
The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA economy has recently been experiencing healthy growth, and the unemployment rate for the area is below the US and the state. Through 2045, the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA is forecast to see employment rise at a 1.66 percent yearly rate, generating an addition of nearly 637,800 jobs.
Texas’ large metropolitan areas will continue to drive overall growth in the future as the state economy and population becomes more concentrated in these population centers. The Perryman Group’s long-term projections indicate that the Austin-Round Rock and Dallas-Plano-Irving areas will remain the strongest performers, with notable gains in other metropolitan areas as well.
Dr. M. Ray Perryman is president and chief executive officer of The Perryman Group. He writes for The Monitor’s Board of Contributors.