Economy

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A perfect storm of circumstances has helped create what a UT Austin professor calls “the new innovation economy.” What is that?

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Texas Economic Stabilization Fund, often called the rainy day fund, is doing well. Really well, actually. By the end of 2021, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar projects, it will have about $15 billion in it. Lawmakers say the account needs to have a minimum of $7.5 billion to help the state maintain a top credit rating.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

As we make the turn from 2017 to 2018, one of the big areas we ought to keep an eye on is the economy. The jobs Texans do in the future will look a little different than they have in the past. That’s of course in part due to the impacts of technology, but it also has to do with the needs of the community.

Dr. Ray Perryman, who heads the economic and financial analysis firm the Perryman Group in Waco, says the biggest gains will be in health care.

From Texas Standard:

In Los Angeles minimum wage doesn’t go very far. It’s hard to find an apartment for less than a thousand bucks – over half your monthly pay at that income level. Groceries, utilities, transportation and insurance eat up what’s left of your budget.

The struggle to keep their heads above the water has many Californians longing for someplace cheaper. As it turns out, Texas might be that place.

Theopolisme/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Dallas Mavericks are boycotting stays at hotels owned by President-elect Donald Trump. And #grabyourwallet is trending on social media sites – a shoutout for Trump opponents to boycott companies that do business with Trump enterprises, or with companies whose CEOs gave money to Trump’s election campaign. Some of the companies include Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Neiman Marcus and T.J. Maxx.


Joe Diaz/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The United States Census Bureau dropped new data this week, as part of the American Community Survey, a yearly estimate of a plethora of different topics concerning American households, including numbers on healthcare, income, and poverty.

 


What Can Austin Do to Support Its Musicians?

Sep 13, 2016
Austin Anderson/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital” of the world. But a flood of newcomers to the city has produced some dire consequences for the very people who've earned the city that title – the musicians who can no longer afford to live there.

Mayor Steve Adler says the city has reached a tipping point. 

 


Aidan Wakely-Mulroney/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

El Paso and Juarez are sister cities of sorts. They share a border, cultural ties, and of course, economic ones. But even though the towns are close, the cost of living between the two are worlds apart.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has been long known for trying to lure businesses from other countries and states around the U.S. Now, the state of New York is getting in on the game. They’re running ads nationwide, including Texas media channels – like news site KXAN in Austin.

Flickr/raghavvidya (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texans awoke this morning to news that the UK voted to exit the European Union. We caught up with one British-born Texan who's trying to figure out what the vote means for him.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to kids and their well-being, Texas isn't doing a very good job. In fact, the state ranks very close to the bottom of the list – at 43.

That ranking comes from the latest "Kids Count" study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which looked at areas like education rankings and the number of children without health insurance.

 


Scurzuzu/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Catholic Church, no stranger to controversy on a constellation of topics, has become rather pointed on one political matter – payday lending.  The Diocese of Fort Worth has now asked the city to strictly regulate the industry in the only major city in the state without any such regulations.

Bishop Michael Olson, head of the Diocese of Fort Worth, issued the call to action. He says that the Catholic charities in the city saw a pattern with the people they were assisting: many of them had fallen into a cycle of debt.

 


Flickr/Julio César Mesa (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The store shelves are bare. Food riots are growing. Patients are dying at hospitals because supplies are exhausted. Major airlines are discontinuing service to this country, and yet it is home to the largest reserve of underground oil in the world.

Venezuela, just to the south, may not be top of the news but what happens there next is important to us here in Texas.

 


Shaine Mata/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you were to ask me how much I pay for car insurance, I wouldn't be able to answer that. It's one of those things where once I set it, I forget it. 

But that's not so for Cristobal Garcia of Mission, Texas. He says to me in Spanish that his insurance costs $170 per month. Multiply that by 12 months and it comes out to $2,042 per year.

 


Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

There’s a steady line of women walking up and flashing their cell phones to a doorwoman at the Empire Control Room – a downtown Austin bar. But they’re not here just for drinks or a concert. There’s a meet-up for a local organization called Boss Babes ATX.

Flickr/Luis Romero (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

People in the U.S. sent $56 billion to their families back home. Yes, billion. Among the five countries that most benefit from these remittances is Mexico. But how does that work, with more Mexicans leaving the U.S. than coming in?

Flickr/Jason Carpenter (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Falling gas prices is great news for us as consumers, yet some are panicking about the state's economy. But the future of Texas may not be so gloomy after all.

Image courtesy Angelos Angelou

From Texas Standard:

Every January for the past three decades, state and local officials have gathered in Austin to hear economist Angelos Angelou give his annual economic forecast. Some say he's conservative in his forecasts, yet lawmakers follow his words carefully because he's been proven to be on the money in the past.

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Regular gym goers know January is the worst. All those people who usually don’t show up crowd into classes and hog the equipment in an effort to meet their New Year resolutions.

But whether you’re a gym rat or an occasional exerciser, you may not realize that personal trainers – the ones with abs you’d pay big money for – don't usually have equally enviable salaries.

 


Photo via Flickr/prettyinprint (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Gas prices are at the lowest they’ve been on average in about seven years, according to AAA. Today crude oil prices are near 2003 lows – under $27 a barrel – and lower gas prices will follow.

Is the Texas Economy Headed Towards a Recession?

May 1, 2015
85552770/flickr

From Texas Standard:

When a leading economist warned Texas that it should brace for a recession, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank wasn’t rattled. Then-President Richard Fisher said, if anything, the state might experience a downturn in economic growth. But here we are on the first day of May – after months of negative workforce and economic data. Dan Zehr with the Austin-American Statesman spoke with the Texas Standard to answer the question: Is the Texas economy in the middle of a recession?

U.S. Census Bureau

Texas has one of the nation's lowest rates of people on welfare, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. It says 1.8 percent of Texas households received benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program in 2012. 

Only Wyoming (1.7 percent), South Carolina (1.6 percent), North Dakota (1.5 percent) and Louisiana (1.5 percent) had lower welfare rates than Texas. The United States average is 2.9 percent. The tally did not include food stamps or Social Security benefits. 

National Association of Realtors

Austin is the best city in the United States for aspiring homebuyers between 20 and 34 years old, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It said even though housing prices in Austin have shot up in the last few years, the city's median home value of $252,520 is still about half of what it is in Boston and a third of what it is in San Francisco.

"Which is the reason why we still place Austin as reasonably affordable," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says. "This is where the millennial generations are moving into and [where] the job opportunities are available."

ChinLin Pan/KUT

According to Forbes.com, since 2001 tech firms like Apple, Google, and Facebook have expanded employment by 41 percent. This has lead to Austin resembling a smaller Silicon Valley – and Texas as a whole altering the face of its economy.

In keeping with Austin's renowned music scene, many of the region's exports are less about tangible services and more about entertainment and innovative ideas and applications. Economist and author Richard Florida christened such a move to a arts and knowledge-based economy as "The Rise of the Creative Class."

https://flic.kr/p/xzPDU

The global boom in energy production driven by fracking and horizontal drilling is leading to a shortage of skilled workers. A new report by the human resources firm Mercer says two-thirds of oil and gas companies are now poaching employees from their competitors.

"The industry seems inclined when an individual is trained and developed by a competitor to, especially in the first five years of employment, go after that key talent, as opposed to training and developing their own,"  says Philip Tenenbaum, a senior partner at Mercer. 

He says in some cases, the practice has become quite overt.  

KUT News

These days restaurants are spending obscene amounts of money on limes. Think about what that means for Mexican food alone: limes are used in practically everything, from margaritas to ceviche to guacamole.

Last week, the rising price of limes became personal for this reporter.

I stopped by La Moreliana, a small eatery in southeast Austin that serves up authentic tacos. The food was great – but the tacos were missing the citrusy, acidic bite only lime juice can add. 

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

websense.com

Update: Dropbox and Websense will receive economic incentives to expand in Austin.

The Austin City Council voted 5-2 today to offer the two tech companies approximately $700,000 in incentives. The money comes on top of $6 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund. 

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Last night the Austin City Council approved a deal that offers nearly $680,000 dollars in incentives for athenahealth to expand in Austin. The grant will be offered in addition to a $5 million subsidy from Gov. Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund.

But not everyone is happy with the deal. Some council members argue that the city’s booming economy doesn’t need to offer subsidies to bring business to Austin. (The deal passed on a 5-2 vote, with city council members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voting no.)

Austin Monitor publisher Michael Kanin says that this debate is heating up as council members become increasingly divided on the issue of business incentives.

The Central Texas Food Bank
KUT News

Another national report card is out, and Texas households are still struggling to beef up their savings. 

Almost half of Texas households don’t have enough savings to pay for basic expenses for three months, which means most families aren’t prepared in the event of a job loss or health emergency.

According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s 2014 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, the state’s policies are also not helping residents achieve financial security.

Pages