Austin, the eyes of Texas (and many other states) are upon you.
At a time when manufacturing in Texas is taking a hit and high-tech companies are taking a wallop, Austin is not only outstripping Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston but is doubling the state’s job-growth rate and posting its lowest unemployment rate.
Central Texas is shaking off the Great Recession, according to The Texas Workforce Commission, gaining 18,700 jobs from August 2009 to last month, for a total of 769,200 jobs. From December 2009 to August, Austin had a job-growth rate of 4.5 percent–probably among the nation’s highest, says Keith Phillips, a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In Austin, nearly every industry is expanding: in manufacturing alone, 1,100 jobs have opened up this year.
Even more remarkably, the gains are coming in high tech industries, which four years ago saw precipitous plunges as Dell and other electronics firms imposed draconian cuts in chip-making. Though manufacturing jobs are still down 20 percent overall, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is putting up $3.6 billion to enlarge its Austin chip factory during the next year, creating 500 new jobs. And in July, Applied Materials Inc., the largest maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, announced it will soon add more than 200 jobs in Austin.
Why the dramatic turnaround? Phillips believes some of the high-tech companies are rebuilding inventories, but he also points to the popularity of consumer electronics as an attractive alternative to big-ticket purchases. In a time of recession, he told the Austin American-Statesman on September 17, 2010, “Maybe you can’t splurge on a new house, but maybe you can buy a new iPod or an iPad.”
As the rebound continues, investors and businesses will need expert consultation on a wide range of transactions:
- limited-liability companies and S corporations
- buying and selling businesses
- venture-capital investments
- asset purchases
- non-compete covenants
- complex business startups
- shareholder agreements
Source: Austin American-Statesman