Texas is doing better on the manufacturing front than the nation as a whole. More than 836,000 Texans are employed in manufacturing, the second highest number in the U.S. According to our
latest monthly employment statistics, Texas has added 25,200 manufacturing jobs over the past twelve months. Texas also exports nearly $160 billion worth of manufactured goods a year. We lead all states in that regard with our nearest competitor, California, next at less than $85 billion annually.
Texas metros benefit from some idiosyncratic economic features. Rising oil prices slow economic activity in most of the country, but are good for Texas. After a brutal property bust centered in Dallas in the 1980s, the state tightened mortgage regulations, which reduced the incidence of reckless lending during the latest housing boom.
Yet the big secret to success is Texan cities’ willingness to capitalize on their advantages through an extraordinary openness to growth. Relative friendliness to immigration is one source of strength. Between them, Dallas and Houston welcomed over 600,000 new residents from abroad over the past decade.