AUSTIN – Texas boasts one of the top-10 best economies among the states, according to an analysis by personal-finance website, WalletHub.
While the U.S. as a whole was strong in 2015, individual states struggled. WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington D.C., analyzing economic activity, economic health and innovation potential. Texas ranked ninth overall, scoring best in economic activity for its strong GDP growth, exports per capita, fast-growing firms and business startup activity.
It’s no surprise that Texas ranks second for GDP growth and ties with Louisiana and Washington for the most exports per capita, Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corp., told the SE Texas Record. The state has been the top exporter in the nation for the last 14 years, she said.
“Our business advantages help to consistently place Texas at the top of nearly every credible ‘best states to do business’ list and executives continue to sing our praises,” McDaniel said.
For 12 straight years, Chief Executive magazine has named Texas the best state for business.
WalletHub ranked Texas 34th in economic health, due in part to lower scores in annual median household income and unemployment rate, among others. The state ranked 20th for its innovation potential — an area that McDaniel believes will get stronger.
“Texas already fares very well in many of the categories this study takes into account for this measure, including jobs in high-tech industries, jobs held by scientists and engineers and entrepreneurial activity,” she said.
In April, the Consumer Technology Association ranked Texas among the top states for innovation. The CTA awarded the Innovation Champion Award, recognizing the state’s policies toward innovation and its encouragement of entrepreneurial activity.
The state also ranks second in the nation for having more than 585,600 jobs in the tech sector. Among other notable milestones, more than 25 Silicon Valley companies have located or expanded in Texas since 2014, McDaniel said, including Google, Facebook and Apple.
“Texas is forming its economic development strategy to both attract and retain companies in new, growing industries — such as life sciences and biotechnology, aerospace and aviation and information and computer technology. And it’s working; over the past year, Texas added jobs in 9 of its 11 major industries,” McDaniel said. “More and more, we are demonstrating that our industry strength extends beyond oil and gas.”