Quick Start for:

Fiscal Notes

 

Fiscal Notes

A Review of the Texas Economy from the Office of Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts · Dec 2011

For a richer experience, please upgrade to a modern browser.

The Fastest-Growing, Highest-Paying
Texas Industries

Fast Forward

By Mark Wangrin/Bruce Wright

It’s no secret that Texas is dominating job creation in the U.S., despite a still-weak national economy. But what industries are growing fastest and paying the most?

In this issue, Fiscal Notes takes a look at some of the state’s fastest-growing industries that offer better-than-average wages, defined as pay exceeding the state average of $902 weekly in 2010. We define industries according to the federal government’s North American Industry Classification System, while growth figures for the years 2006 through 2010 come from statistics maintained by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

From
2006 to 2010,
companies
providing
professional,
scientific
and technical
services

added
43,692
Texas jobs
that paid
an average of
$1,412
weekly in 2010.

Energy Stays Strong

Generally high energy prices helped Texas’ oil and gas-related companies grow rapidly in the last five years, providing valuable support for the state during a recessionary period.

Employment in oil and natural gas extraction rose by 15.6 percent or more than 11,000 jobs between 2006 and 2010, registering the fourth-highest growth among industries in percent terms and fifth-highest by the number of additional jobs created. Average weekly wages of $3,273 in 2010 were the highest among the fastest-growing industries, more than tripling the overall state average.

Related pursuits were buoyed as well. Support activities for mining – the various service companies needed to drill and maintain oil and gas wells – added 9,565 jobs from 2006 to 2010, for a total growth of 9.2 percent. The industry ranked seventh-highest in terms of numerical growth and ninth for percent growth, and produced average weekly wages of $1,639, well above the state average.

Another related industry, pipeline transportation, added 2,123 jobs for a 15.4 percent growth rate, fifth-highest in percentage terms. These jobs paid average wages of $2,497 a week.

It’s also important to note that TWC’s numbers don’t reflect contract workers, who do not receive benefits and typically are not covered in official government estimates. According to David Green, research analyst with the Comptroller’s office, energy companies often use contract workers to contain operating costs in lean fiscal times.

“Including contract workers produces an even brighter picture of overall employment in the oil and gas industry,” Green says.

Medical, Technical Skills Sought

Jobs in health services are another important element in Texas’ employment growth, due mostly to a growing and aging population.

Hospitals in particular are large, rapidly growing employers in the state. According to TWC, hospitals created an additional 41,653 jobs from 2006 to 2010, an 11.5 percent growth rate. Hospitals were the second-biggest source of numerical job growth, and paid an average of $1,015 weekly in 2010.

Nurses Needed

As the Texas economy grows, workers will be needed in all sorts of positions, but one profession stands out – nursing.

Using data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI), we examined job projections for the next decade, focusing on the fastest-growing occupations requiring at least an associate degree. Registered nurses (RNs) topped the list, with a projected gain of 50,756 jobs in the decade ending in 2020, an increase of 30 percent from 2010.

Filling these slots could be challenging, given an ongoing shortage of nurses in Texas. But the state has taken steps to prevent the shortage from becoming critical, says Clair Jordan, executive director of the Texas Nurses Association.

“Since 2003, when the Legislature passed the Nursing Shortage Reduction Act, Texas has been investing in nursing,” Jordan says. “In 2009, the Legislature invested more than $44 million in special funding for nursing education that allowed nursing schools in Texas to increase enrollment and improve graduation rates.”

It seems to have paid off; according to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, first-year enrollments in Texas RN programs rose by nearly 16 percent in 2010.

In 2011, the Legislature appropriated another $30 million for nursing education. Such commitments will be necessary to keep pace with the need for nurses, Jordan says.

“In 2009, the Legislature invested more than $44 million in special funding for nursing education.”

images/clair_jordan.jpg

Clair Jordan,
executive director of the Texas Nurses Association

The largest numerical gain between 2006 and 2010, however, came from professional, scientific and technical services, a broad range of companies that, according to the U.S. Census definition of this category, involve “production processes that are almost wholly dependent on worker skills,” often requiring college degrees.

This industry led all others in increasing job count between 2006 and 2010, generating nearly 44,000 additional positions for total growth of 8.3 percent. The demands of these positions are reflected in above-average weekly wages of $1,472 in 2010.

Business and Investment

Another rapid-growth area for jobs was the management of companies and enterprises. This category, something of a catch-all, includes holding companies (companies that exist primarily to invest in other companies) as well as jobs in corporate, subsidiary and regional managing offices that involve services such as accounting, bookkeeping, billing, legal services, marketing, advertising and personnel management.

The category added 23,212 net jobs between 2006 and 2010, and led all others in growth rate, expanding by 41.4 percent over five years. It also pays more than twice the average Texas weekly wage, at $1,922.

Employment in financial investment and related activities, including underwriters, brokers, investment advisors and portfolio managers, added 5,310 jobs from 2006 to 2010, for a total growth rate of 12.4 percent. This performance placed the industry on the top 10 list in both numerical and percentage growth. Its average weekly pay of $2,604 in 2010 was nearly three times as high as the average state wage. FN

For more data on Texas employment, visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s Labor Market & Career Information Department.

Fast growing, high paying

Texas leads all other states in job creation. Here are some of the fastest-growing industries paying better-than-average wages.

Fastest-growing industries by Total Jobs Added 2006-2010
Industry Jobs
2006
Jobs
2010
Change
2006-10
Percent Change
2006-10
Avg. Weekly
Wages, 2010
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 528,069 571,761 43,692 8.30% $1,472
Hospitals 360,842 402,495 41,653 11.50% $1,015
Management of Companies & Enterprises 56,094 79,306 23,212 41.40% $1,922
Justice, Public Order & Safety Activities 203,729 221,651 17,922 8.80% $1,028
Oil & Natural Gas Extraction 70,709 81,761 11,052 15.60% $3,273
Administration of Economic Programs 24,808 34,778 9,971 40.20% $907
Support Activities for Mining 103,826 113,391 9,565 9.20% $1,639
Electronic Markets & Agents/Brokers 53,503 62,389 8,886 16.60% $1,671
Utilities 74,019 80,278 6,259 8.50% $1,417
Financial Investment & Related Activity 42,766 48,076 5,310 12.40% $2,604
State Total 9,917,005 10,187,076 270,071 2.70% $902
Fastest-growing industries by Percent Increase in Employment 2006-2010
Industry Jobs
2006
Jobs
2010
Change
2006-10
Percent Change
2006-10
Avg. Weekly
Wages, 2010
Management of Companies & Enterprises 56,094 79,306 23,212 41.40% $1,922
Administration of Economic Programs 24,808 34,778 9,971 40.20% $907
Electronic Markets & Agents/Brokers 53,503 62,389 8,886 16.60% $1,671
Oil & Gas Extraction 70,709 81,761 11,052 15.60% $3,273
Pipeline Transportation 13,813 15,936 2,123 15.40% $2,497
Performing Arts & Spectator Sports 20,778 23,405 2,627 12.60% $1,260
Financial Investment & Related Activity 42,766 48,076 5,310 12.40% $2,604
Hospitals 360,842 402,495 41,653 11.50% $1,015
Support Activities for Mining 103,826 113,391 9,565 9.20% $1,639
Justice, Public Order & Safety Activities 203,729 221,651 17,922 8.80% $1,028
State Total 9,917,005 10,187,076 270,071 2.70% $902

Source: Texas Workforce Commission


Required Plug-ins