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March 2008


Industries to Watch

From management to mining, Texas industries flourish.

By Tracey Lamphere

Texas boasted a strong 2007 job market, with several major industries posting significant gains.

“Hot” industries, those posting the highest percentages in job growth during the past year, ranged from mining to corporate management, according to Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) statistics. Utility system construction posted gains, and jobs in administrative and support and waste management services topped the list of fastest growing industries.

“Texas employers continue their impressive run by adding jobs and fueling the state’s economy,” says TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ron Lehman. “Texas significantly outpaces the nation in job growth in industries such as construction, professional and business services and natural resources and mining.”

What’s Hot for 2008

In its December 2007 issue, Entrepreneur magazine predicted a “hot list” of industries for 2008. The list included the following industries among those expected to show the most growth over the year:

  • Special Needs Foods (including gluten-free, low-glycemic and allergen-free foods)
  • Biotechnology and Health Technology
  • Health-Care Staffing
  • Senior Services and Senior Products
  • Spirits, Wine and Beer
  • In-Home Nonmedical Care
  • Web Applications
  • Technical Consulting
  • Executive Recruiting
  • Crafts and Handmade Goods

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Growing Industries

TWC tracks employment growth by industry. All industries are assigned codes using the U.S. Census Bureau’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Jobs in the “management of companies and enterprises” sector showed the most growth from October 2006 to October 2007, adding 5,100 jobs for a 9 percent increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 NAICS definition, this sector includes businesses primarily engaged in overseeing and managing the securities of companies and enterprises, such as corporate headquarters.

Jobs in the “support activities for mining” sector added 8,500 jobs for an 8 percent increase in the same time period. Industries in this sector provide support services for mining and quarrying minerals and for extracting oil and gas. This sector also includes industries involved in drilling and well surveying for oil and gas operations.

Mining has a major economic impact on the Texas economy in terms of jobs. The aggregates industry generates thousands of jobs and other benefits in terms of output, income and sales, and provides employment and pays taxes for decades, according to the Texas Mining and Reclamation Service.

In 2007, the uranium industry grew significantly, adding more than 100 jobs in South Texas. Production is expected to increase from an estimated 1.5 million pounds in 2007 to a possible 5 million pounds per year by 2010, and revenues could reach $500 million.

Rounding out the other top five growth industries were utility system construction, which added 3,600 jobs at a growth rate of 5.8 percent; and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, which added 33,400 jobs at a growth rate of 5 percent. The utility system construction sector includes companies primarily engaged in building distribution lines and related buildings for utilities, including water, sewer, gas, power and communication. Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services refers to establishments performing routine support activities for other organizations, including office administration, personnel hiring and placement, surveillance services, cleaning and waste disposal services.

Texas’ Five Fastest-Growing

Occupation TitleGrowth Rate
Average Employment 2004 -
Projected Employment 2014
Physician Assistants +58.9%
Medical Assistants +58.6%
Home Health Aides +51.2%
Special Education Teachers +51.2%
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

Source: Texas Workforce Commission.

The home health care services industry is poised to be the hottest industry of tomorrow, according to projections from TWC. Employment in this industry is expected to increase 53 percent from 2004 to 2014. Home health aides are among the state’s five fastest-growing occupations. Jobs in this industry are expected to jump by 51 percent from 2004 to 2014.

“Texas has worked hard to maintain a healthy business climate and to diversify our industry base,” says Aaron Demerson, executive director of the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Office of the Governor.

“We feel this combination, passing business-friendly legislation and working our industry cluster strategies, has supported the diversification of industries in the Texas economy.”

Decade to Decade

Ten years ago, mining dominated job growth. That sector’s employment jumped 15 percent from 1996 to 1997. Telecommunications was the second fastest-growing industry in 1997; jobs in this field increased 14.5 percent during the same time frame. “Other specialty trade contractors” came in third, with an 11.6 percent growth rate, followed by administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, which grew 10.2 percent.

For more on Texas’ hottest growth industries as well as demographic, economic and labor market information, visit the Texas Workforce Commission at FN

Texas’ 10 Fastest Growing Industries for the Future

By 2014, employment in the home health care services industry is projected to rise the most among Texas’ leading industries.

Industry TitleAverage Annual Employment 2004Projected
Employment 2014
Growth Rate
Home Health Care Services161,650247,95053.4%
Management, Scientific & Technical Consulting Services53,85082,350 52.9%
Office Administrative Services33,35050,65051.9%
Motor Vehicle Manufacturing6,6509,65045.1%
Offices of Physicians149,750216,85044.8%
Individual & Family Services32,60046,65043.1%
Computer Systems Design & Related Services71,200101,80043.0%
Educational Support Services2,0002,85042.5%
Offices of Other Health Practitioners35,60050,65042.3%
Outpatient Care Centers18,00025,55041.9%

NOTE: Industries in this list must have 500 or more employment in 2004.

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

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