- Largest Texas Metros
Lure Big-City, Coastal Migrants During Pandemic
Wenli Li and Yichen Su
Almost two years since the pandemic began, high-frequency data show that migration to Texas has accelerated, as the state’s four biggest metros experience an influx of migrants often from the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. The emergence of working from home has lessened both workers’ and some companies’ reliance on physical offices, clearing the way for the new wave of mobility.
- Texas Joblessness Persists Above U.S.
Rate, Weighing on Black, Hispanic Workers
Texas lost proportionately fewer jobs than the nation during the pandemic, yet the unemployment rate rose above the national rate—a gap that has persisted. Women and minorities were affected disproportionately at the outset. While the gender unemployment gap has largely dissipated, the gaps between white workers and both Black and Hispanic workers have persisted above pre-COVID-19 levels.
- Semiconductors Key to Global Growth; Geographic Supply Risks Loom
On the Record: A Conversation with Tyson Tuttle
Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs in Austin, shares his insights on current issues in the semiconductor industry and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
- Spotlight: Natural Gas Demand Recovers, Lifts Prices
Global demand for U.S. natural gas has risen as many pandemic-induced limits on economic activity have been lifted, but domestic production has only slowly recovered
- Go Figure: Pandemic, Remote Learning Undo STAAR Test
Gains; Texas Student Scores Slide
Design: Justin Chavira, Olumide Eseyin; Content: Christopher Slijk, James Lee
Hispanic and Black students’ scores on the 2021 exam fell more than
those of white students and reversed previous years' gains.
- Federal COVID-19 Relief Aided Consumer Debt, Though Immigrant Texans Derived Less Benefit
Wenhua Di and Chloe Smith
U.S. and Texas residents shored up their household finances during the COVID-19 recession. The prevalence of various federal-level assistance programs helped boost savings and broadly reduce debt. Among mostly immigrant groups, this tendency was less pronounced, likely due to legal and socioeconomic barriers.
- Texas Winter Deep Freeze Broke Refining, Petrochemical Supply Chains
It may take the Texas petrochemical industry until year-end 2021 to fully recover from the record cold that triggered power outages and supply disruptions in mid-February. Production of basic petrochemical products used in a range of intermediate and consumer goods was interrupted, breaking supply chains already strained by COVID-19 and leading to price pressures and scores of product shortages.
- Texas Restaurants Find Change on Postpandemic Menu
On the Record: Conversation with Emily Williams Knight
Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, discusses how the dining industry survived COVID-19 and the changes that have occurred.
- Banks Face New Challenges as Texas Rebounds from COVID-19 Shock
Amy Chapel, Kory Killgo and Kelly Klemme
The banking industry faced significant challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with profitability declining to levels not seen since the 2008–09 financial crisis. While strong economic growth during 2021 is expected as the economy reopens, some credit deterioration and losses are still possible as fiscal stimulus and national forbearance programs end.
- Spotlight: Oil Patch Productivity Rises; Jobs Vanish
Garrett Golding and Sean Howard
After major oil price busts in 2014 and 2020, the same engineering prowess that helped the oil and gas industry thrive has been driven to find efficiencies to lower operating costs. The result: Fewer workers are needed to produce the same oil and gas output.
- Go Figure: Women Took Brunt of Pandemic Job Loss as Priorities Shifted to Home
Design: Olumide Eseyin; Content: Camila L. Holm, Yichen Su
Working women fared worse than men in the pandemic—a reversal from the Great Recession
- President’s Perspective
Robert S. Kaplan
- COVID-19 Slammed into Texas, Leaving Long-Lasting Impacts
Emily Kerr, Judy Teng and Keith Phillips
The economic road from the COVID-19 recession in Texas will likely feature a steeper, more rapid climb than the usual gradual rise associated with most recoveries. Some structural changes that the pandemic wrought will take longer to resolve, including those that will make work from home a longer-term occupational reality for some.
- COVID-19 Poses Stubborn Challenge to Economic Growth in Mexico
Jesus Cañas and Chloe Smith
Mexico, confronting a high rate of COVID-19 infection and an ineffectual medical response, recorded the largest decline in gross domestic product in a quarter century last year. While manufacturing trade with the U.S. provided economic support, the large and hard to reach off-the-books informal sector proved more troublesome and will play an important role in the nation’s performance in 2021.
- On the Record: A Conversation with Alan D. Viard
Value-Added Tax Could Restrain Long-Term Federal Debt
Alan D. Viard, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, studies tax and budget policy. A former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Viard discusses how to address the U.S. budget deficit in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Spotlight: Pandemic Pushes Texas Minority Unemployment Beyond Highs Reached During Great Recession
Carlee Crocker and Pia Orrenius
Recessions are hardest on minorities; the COVID-19 downturn is no different in that regard. Texas is a majority minority state—more than half of Texas’ population is Hispanic or Black—and the consequences are far-reaching if those groups lag behind economically.
- Go Figure: Collapsing Fuel Demand Tanks Texas Exports During Pandemic’s Peak
Design: Justin Chavira; Content: Emma Marshall, Pia Orrenius
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on Texas energy exports. U.S. energy exports excluding Texas were dramatically less affected.
- Snapshot: Dining Out Picks Up in Texas, Houston
The number of patrons dining at restaurants surged in Texas and Houston after the state thawed from a deep freeze in February and COVID-19 constraints on restaurants and bars were lifted March 10.
- President’s Perspective
Robert S. Kaplan