Texas economic growth makes the liberal Northeast rustbelt. look anemic...Still living in past glory, and ruining private sector economic growth with excess regulations....Texas steals the thunder!
"Houston will enjoy the highest growth in new households of any major city between 2014 and 2017. A recent U.S. Council of Mayors study predicted that the American urban order will become increasingly Texan, with Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth both growing larger than Chicago by 2050.Houston's economic success over the past 20 years—and, more remarkably, since the Great Recession and the weak national recovery—rivals the performance of any large metropolitan region in the U.S. For nearly a decade and a half, the city has added jobs at a furious pace—more than 600,000 since early 2000, and 263,000 since early 2008.
The much more populous greater New York City area has added 103,000 jobs since 2008, and Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Atlanta and Philadelphia remain well below their 2008 levels in total jobs. Los Angeles and Chicago, like Detroit, have fewer jobs today than they did at the turn of the millennium.
Many of Houston's jobs pay well, too. Using Praxis Strategy Group calculations that factor in the cost of living as well as salaries, Houston now has among the highest, if not the highest, standard of living of any large city in the U.S. The average cost-of-living-adjusted salary in Houston is about $75,000, compared with around $50,000 in New York and $46,000 in Los Angeles.
Since 2001, the energy industry has been directly responsible for an increase of 67,000 jobs in Houston, and it now employs more than 240,000 people in the area. These include many technical positions, one reason the region now boasts the highest concentration of engineers outside Silicon Valley. The jobs should keep coming: University of Houston economist Bill Gilmer estimates that $25 billion to $40 billion in new petrochemical facilities is on its way to Greater Houston.
Houston also has seen a surge in mid-skills jobs (usually requiring a certificate or a two-year degree) in fields such as manufacturing, logistics and construction, as well as energy. Many of these jobs pay more than $100,000 a year. And according to calculations derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Praxis Strategy Group's Mark Schill, since 2007 Houston has led the 52 major metropolitan areas in creating these jobs, at a rate of 6.6% annually. In contrast, mid-skills jobs have declined by more than 10% in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, which have not been friendly to such industries.
Houston's growth is more than oil-industry luck; it reflects a unique policy environment. The city and its unincorporated areas have no formal zoning, so land use is flexible and can readily meet demand. Getting building permits is simple and quick, with no arbitrary approval boards making development an interminable process. Neighborhoods can protect themselves with voluntary, opt-in deed restrictions or minimum lot sizes.
The flexible planning regime is also partly responsible for keeping Houston's housing prices relatively low. On a square-foot basis, according to Knight Frank, a London-based real-estate consultancy, the same amount of money buys almost seven times as much space in Houston as it does in San Francisco and more than four times as much as in New York. Houston has built a new kind of "self-organizing" urban model, notes architect and author Lars Lerup, one that he calls "a creature of the market."
Housing-market flexibility has also benefited some of the city's historically neglected areas.
Houston's explosive economic growth has engendered another kind of boom: a human one. Between 2000 and 2013, Greater Houston's population expanded by 35%—while New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago grew by 4% to 7%. According to a 2012 Rice University study, Greater Houston is now the most ethnically diverse metro region in America, as measured by the balance between four major groups: African-American, white, Asian and Hispanic. "This place is as diverse as California," notes David Yi, a Korean-American energy trader who moved to Houston from Los Angeles in 2013. "But it is affordable, with good schools."
The last ambitious young private sector entrepeneur leaving the public sector paradise of Moonbatachusetts, turn out the energy-efficient lights...