Tonight my wife brought me today's copy of the Wall Street Journal (which I seldom read any more except on-line) to read a particular story.
The story was on page A3. Folks know the relevancy of page A3 in the WSJ. Page A3 for the WSJ is as important as Page 3 is to the readers of the British tabloid, The Sun.
Page A3 is "page 1" news but the stories are written in a bit more depth and the writers have had more time for research before going to press.
Today's headline story on page A3 in the WSJ: Texas' Engine Keeps Revving.
The plunge in oil prices over the past year has taken some of the energy out of the Texas economy, but the Lone Star State has been able to muddle through thanks to the still-booming Dallas-Fort Worth metro region.
Even in Texas, the recently opened Nebraska Furniture Mart in this suburb 30 miles north of Dallas stands out for its outsize ambitions. A retail pièce de résistance roughly the size of three Wal-Mart supercenters, it carries a vast array of recliners, refrigerators, rugs and just about everything else. Ron Blumkin, president of the Omaha-based chain, majority-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is confident the DFW region’s growth can support the mammoth store.
“I look out there and I see hundreds of new rooftops,” he said. “That is pretty exciting to me.”
The continued economic success of the DFW metro area, the nation’s fourth largest, with nearly seven million people, is one of the reasons Texas has so far managed to stave off a sharp downturn despite losing thousands of jobs in the oil patch and related industries. The region lost more than 100,000 jobs during the recession, but it has added nearly four times that number since then.It's really impossible to articular how much activity is going on in the DFW area. Major highway construction that took more than a decade is finally complete, but now they are doing "the-nice-to-have" highway construction -- stuff that was not absolutely necessary but really, really nice to have. As in the Bakken, the construction is going on 24/7 and does not interrupt daily activity: the traffic moves through major highway construction projects with minimal hassle.
I've never seen so many world-class malls going up as they are in our area: the confluence of Southlake-Colleyville-Grapevine-Euliss-DFW Airport.
Mostly in Dallas-Ft Worth and San Antonio:
Once the nation’s top job creator, Texas has tumbled to a middling 36th place in that category, the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show. In Houston, the country’s energy capital and one of the state’s main economic engines, some 35,300 people abandoned the workforce from December to April, the largest five-month decline since 2000, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The bank expects Texas employment to grow by less than 1% in 2015, after galloping at a pace of 3.6% last year.
But the story is markedly different in the DFW region, which, with its thriving business-services and tech sectors, highlights how much Texas has diversified since the 1980s oil-price collapse threw the state into a long-lasting slump. The area has added a net of more than 36,000 jobs since October, when oil prices started to nosedive.
Dallas isn’t the only Texas region that has diversified. The San Antonio metro area, which has 2.3 million residents, now has a burgeoning biotech sector. Austin, with its population of 1.9 million, had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation’s largest metro areas in April as it undergoes a hotel boom. But because of its economic heft and size, Dallas will play a bigger role in determining the rate of Texas’ growth.One last bit:
In Plano, another Dallas suburb, bulldozers are readying a 240-acre plot to build a complex that houses Toyota Motor Corp.’s new U.S. headquarters, which is being moved from Southern California.
FedEx Corp. and Liberty Mutual Insurance are building towers in the same office park, dubbed Legacy West. Those three companies alone are expected to employ about 13,000 workers with an estimated payroll of about $1.7 billion a year.
To cater to them, [one developer] is speeding up his own project, an adjacent high-end shopping center with condos and a luxury hotel, by more than a year. The center, [the developer] calculates, will generate at least 2,000 jobs. Meanwhile, retail giant Amazon is adding more than 1,500 jobs at its fulfillment centers in DFW.