THE ECONOMIST: The Economic Forecast for Texas’ Largest Metropolitan Areas

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There is rapid expansion in a number of areas of Texas, but the greatest expansion will continue to be concentrated in the state’s largest metropolitan areas to the benefit of all.

Texas’ most populous metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) typically drive overall economic growth, with a large and growing majority of business activity and job gains.

Over the next five years, The Perryman Group’s forecast indicates that the Dallas and Austin areas will lead the way in output and employment growth, followed closely by the San Antonio and Houston areas.

As context, the Texas economy is expected to see output – real gross product or RGP – growth at a 3.82% annual pace, while employment expands at a 2.02% annual rate.

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The Austin-Round Rock MSA is projected to see gains in output at a 3.89% yearly rate through 2023, for an overall increase of nearly $30.7 billion. Almost 120,000 net new jobs are likely to be added (2.12% per annum growth), bringing wage and salary employment to nearly 1.2 million aggregate positions.

The Perryman Group’s latest forecast for the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division (MD) indicates healthy expansion through 2023 and beyond. Output is projected to grow at a 3.96% pace, increasing more than $84.3 billion, while wage and salary employment is likely to grow by more than 318,500 net new positions (a 2.25% yearly pace).

The Fort Worth-Arlington MD is expected to see output growth at a 3.68% annual rate through 2023, a $26.9 billion increase. During the same period, wage and salary employment is likely to expand by more than 112,100 jobs, a 1.97% per annum gain.

The economy of the El Paso MSA continues to expand, and over the next five years, output is projected to grow at a 3.26% rate (for an increase of $5 billion). Wage and salary employment is likely to rise by more than 33,900 jobs, a 1.84% per annum gain.

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The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA is forecast to experience output expansion of 3.84% per annum, for a gain of approximately $106.4 billion. Wage and salary employment is likely to increase by 341,400 jobs during the period (a 2.05% yearly pace).

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission is projected to experience yearly employment growth of 2.19% and an increase of nearly 31,800 jobs by 2023. Output is expected to rise by more than $3.8 billion over the five-year period, equating to a 3.58% pace.

In the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, growth in output at a 3.87% annual rate is projected, for a gain of approximately $28.0 billion. More than 120,700 net new jobs are expected to be created (a 2.07% annual rate).

While other areas – particularly the Permian Basin – are expanding very rapidly, much of the economic prosperity across Texas originates in its largest MSAs, with benefits rippling through communities across the state.

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Our latest forecasts indicate healthy growth in these important centers of overall performance.

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group ( He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.