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Texas in Focus: Gulf Coast Region

Industry Profiles


Retail Industry Profile

The Gulf Coast region offers spectacular retail shopping. Houston’s Galleria features an assortment of upscale stores offering brands such as Steve Madden, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci. The Galleria also features a number of programs designed for fashion enthusiasts and young adults.

Rice Village is a shopping destination surrounding Rice University in Houston. It features a unique collection of more than 300 boutiques and eclectic shops in the immediate area, along with a host of dining opportunities.

Although Hurricane Ike heavily damaged Galveston’s downtown Strand District and Seawall Boulevard, many businesses have returned to these areas. Visitors can see the downtown district’s many Victorian-era buildings that now host antique shops and eateries. The shops along Seawall Boulevard cater to beachgoers seeking sunglasses, sunscreen and surf gear. The surrounding area also features a number of spas for visitors seeking a relaxing massage or facial.

Historic Montgomery began as a trading post in 1826. Today, its downtown offers a unique shopping experience with shops featuring clothing, crafts, collectibles and furniture. While there, visit Garrett Cottage Antiques featuring antique pottery, furniture and glass art, or Front Porch Friends, which offers unique gifts and books as well as gourmet foods and candles. Huntsville in Walker County also features a number of crafts and antiques shops along with a full-service shopping mall.22

The Gulf Coast region’s retail establishments generated $86.4 billion in gross sales in 2008. Of that amount, $33.3 billion, or 38.5 percent, was subject to state sales tax. Harris County accounted for 72.4 percent of the total taxable sales in the region at $24.1 billion. The region had 272,171 retail employees in 2008 earning total wages of $7.5 billion. Almost 73 percent of these employees were in Harris County where $5.6 billion of the total wages were paid.

Retail Sales, Tax Revenue, and Wage Figures, Gulf Coast Region, 2008

County Gross Sales, 2008 Amount Subject to
Sales Tax, 2008
Sales Tax, 2008 Employees, 2008 Total Wages, 2008
Austin $2,378,720,260 $93,703,329 $5,856,458 1,805 $51,683,794
Brazoria $3,140,693,964 $1,483,367,678 $92,710,480 11,858 $286,457,565
Chambers $1,398,486,624 $88,696,044 $5,543,503 847 $24,689,739
Colorado $268,958,150 $69,909,813 $4,369,363 834 $18,864,746
Fort Bend $6,411,390,246 $2,320,069,038 $145,004,315 17,727 $453,718,403
Galveston $2,973,274,750 $1,478,170,036 $92,385,627 11,400 $281,534,692
Harris $58,095,979,469 $24,086,870,092 $1,505,429,381 198,293 $5,644,074,306
Liberty $1,885,261,586 $258,370,911 $16,148,182 3,149 $71,657,069
Matagorda $356,690,753 $134,048,159 $8,378,010 1,398 $29,289,461
Montgomery $7,506,383,112 $2,727,350,004 $170,459,375 19,105 $479,647,657
Walker $808,148,153 $229,390,227 $14,336,889 2,383 $50,350,998
Waller $597,954,111 $109,715,330 $6,857,208 1,343 $41,704,486
Wharton $580,452,962 $182,606,840 $11,412,928 2,029 $48,798,380
Total $86,402,394,140 $33,262,267,501 $2,078,891,719 272,171 $7,482,471,296

Sources: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and Texas Workforce Commission.


Exhibit 9

Gulf Coast Region and Texas Comparisons, Oil and Gas Industry, 2008

County/Region Average Employment Total Wages
Austin County 453 $22,895,298
Brazoria County 9,257 $908,952,239
Chambers County 638 $45,383,412
Colorado County 518 $26,680,043
Fort Bend County 6,413 $627,911,017
Galveston County 5,517 $614,213,987
Harris County 178,818 $23,573,764,983
Liberty County 1,158 $65,494,270
Matagorda County 1,518 $26,992,466
Montgomery County 8,222 $802,025,009
Walker County 379 $18,402,425
Waller County 899 $49,342,116
Wharton County 1,410 $74,625,036
Region Total Oil and Gas Industry 215,200 $26,856,682,301
Texas Total Oil and Gas Industry 367,967 $39,046,544,700
Gulf Coast Region (percent of total industry) 58.5% 68.8%
Texas Total Nonfarm Industries 10,451,979 $504,793,000,000
Gulf Coast Region (percent of state nonfarm employment) 2.1% 5.3%

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Exhibit 10

Contributions of the Harris County Oil and Gas Industry, 2008

County/Region Average Employment Total Wages
Share of Gulf Coast oil and gas industry 83.1% 87.8%
Share of Texas oil and gas industry 48.6% 60.4%
Share of Texas nonfarm industries 1.7% 4.7%

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Oil and Gas Industry Profile

By any standard, Texas’ oil and gas industry makes enormous contributions to the state and the nation. In 2008, the industry represented 16.5 percent of the Texas gross state product, providing more than $35 billion in wages and 3.5 percent of the state’s 2008 total nonfarm employment.25 According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Texas produces one quarter of the nation’s refined petrochemical products, including coke, asphalt, gasoline, gases, chemical feedstocks and materials. Texas also produces thirty percent of the nation’s natural gas supplies.26

The industry is legendary not only for its colorful wildcatters, but also for its boom and bust cycles. The year 2008 contained both–an all-time high world price of oil at $137.11 per barrel in early July 2008 and a four-year low of $35.99 six months later in December 2008, according to EIA. EIA data also indicate prices rose in 2009, closing at $75.75 per barrel in November of that year.27

Industry Economics

The definition of “oil and gas industry” used by the Comptroller’s office contains several economic sectors defined by the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS, as used by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to this definition, in 2008 the Gulf Coast region accounted for more than half (58.5 percent) of the state’s 2008 total oil and gas employment, with an average of 215,200 persons employed in that year.28 Gulf Coast oil and gas also represented 2.1 percent of the state’s total nonfarm employment.

The region’s oil and gas industry employers paid workers $26.9 billion in 2008, which is 68.8 percent of Texas oil and gas wages and 5.3 percent of all wages paid in Texas nonfarm industries.29 (Exhibit 9).

In 2008, Harris County alone accounted for 83.1 percent of the Gulf Coast’s oil and gas employment and 87.8 percent of the Gulf Coast’s oil and gas wages (Exhibit 10). The county’s oil and gas industry accounted for 48.6 percent of state jobs in the sector and 60.4 percent of its wages. Harris County’s oil and gas industry represented 1.7 percent of all nonfarm jobs in the state and 4.7 percent of all nonfarm wages.

Refineries

A significant portion of the oil and gas industry’s economy refines crude oil into fuels (diesel, home heating oil, gasoline, jet fuel, propane, butane and natural gas) and chemical feedstocks, the essential building blocks of products such as waxes, lubricants, plastics and nylon.30 Refineries in the Gulf Coast region can process 2.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, almost half of the state’s total daily output of 4.7 million barrels (Exhibit 11). Particularly notable is Baytown’s ExxonMobil refinery, the nation’s largest, which alone accounts for 24.5 percent of the region’s refinery capacity.31

Exhibit 11

Gulf Coast Refinery Capacity (Barrels of Crude Oil Refined per Calendar Day)

Company Refinery Location Crude Distillation Capacity
ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. Baytown 572,500
BP Products North America Inc. Texas City 455,790
Deer Park Refining Ltd. Partnership Deer Park 329,800
Houston Refining LP Houston 270,600
ConocoPhillips Company Sweeny 247,000
Valero Refining Co. Texas LP Texas City 199,500
Pasadena Refining Systems Inc. Pasadena 100,000
Valero Refining Co. Texas LP Houston 83,000
Marathon Petroleum Co. LLC Texas City 76,000
Gulf Coast Refineries TOTAL 2,334,190
Texas Refineries TOTAL 4,747,179
Gulf Coast Share of Texas 49.2%

U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.


Seaports and Trade Industry Profile

Seaports and sea-borne trade are an important economic asset for the Gulf Coast region, directly and indirectly supporting significant numbers of jobs. The region is home to four major seaports, those of Houston, Texas City, Freeport and Galveston.

The Port of Houston is one of the world’s largest cargo ports. In 2007, the port ranked first in Texas, second in the U.S., and 16th in the world in total cargo volume handled.32 It is also the state’s second-largest cruise port and is expanding those operations with the opening of a new cruise terminal.

The Port of Houston is a 25-mile-long complex administered by the Port of Houston Authority and hosts more than 150 private industrial companies along the Houston Ship Channel. More than 225 million tons of cargo moved through the port in 2007 and 8,053 vessel calls were recorded at the Port of Houston in 2008. 33

International trade partners of the port include Mexico and countries in the Middle East, South America and Europe. Principal products handled at the Port of Houston include crude fertilizers, petroleum, organic chemicals, cereal, iron and steel, machinery, plastics and vehicles.

A recent study by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research found that the Port of Houston directly or indirectly accounted for 785,049 jobs, $39.3 billion in personal income and $117.6 billion in economic impact on the area, while providing $3.7 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments in 2006.34

The Port of Texas City is the state’s fourth–largest, 13th in the nation and 87th in the world for total cargo volume.35 It is located about 10 miles northwest of Galveston and has the significant advantage of a highly integrated railway system.

The railway facilitates the movement of liquid cargoes including crude petroleum oil and refined petroleum products. The Texas City Terminal Railway Company handles more than 25,000 rail car loads annually. Both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail companies have a significant presence in the area, with 32 miles of connecting rail lines that serve different facilities at the port. The Port of Texas City includes 1,500 acres of land leased to various industrial entities that operate petrochemical plants and refineries and tank and terminal facilities, making it a vital national hub for the petroleum industry.36

The Port of Texas City directly or indirectly accounted for 15,050 jobs and $919.5 million in personal income in 2004. In that year, it generated $667.6 million in economic activity in the area and contributed $248.3 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal governments.

In 2007, the port handled nearly 52 million tons of cargo. Its principal import is crude oil, while its principal exports are gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, intermediate chemicals and petroleum coke. The port serves customers throughout the U.S., as well as numerous countries around the world.37

The Port of Freeport, located about 50 miles south of Houston in Brazoria County, is the fifth-largest port in Texas and the 27th-largest in the nation for total cargo volume.38 Its principal imports include crude petroleum, fruit, textiles, aggregate, paper goods and plastics. Its primary exported commodities include automobiles, chemicals, clothing, food, paper goods and plastics.

The port serves customers throughout the U.S. and from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela and Costa Rica. The port directly or indirectly accounted for 25,795 jobs, $1.8 billion in personal income and $1.6 billion in economic activity, while contributing $169.9 million in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments in 2003. The Port of Freeport handled about 29.6 million tons of cargo in 2007.39

In 2007, the Port of Galveston was the eighth-largest port in the state and 53rd-largest in the nation for total cargo volume.40 The port, located at the mouth of Galveston Bay along the Upper Texas Coast, handles imports including containers, agricultural equipment, machinery, vehicles, fertilizer products, lumber products and military-related cargoes. Its principal exports include bulk grains, containers, machinery, vehicles, linerboard and paper, carbon black and light fuels. In 2007, the port handled 9.8 million tons of cargo.41

The Port of Galveston is also Texas’ number-one passenger port. In 2006, nearly 617,000 people embarked from the port on cruise ships.

The port serves customers throughout the state as well as Texas’ neighboring states and the Midwestern U.S. Its international trading partners include Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Belgium, England, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Singapore and China.

The Port of Galveston directly or indirectly accounted for 13,367 jobs, $727.5 million in personal income, and $2.2 billion in economic activity, while contributing $190.4 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal governments in 2006.42

Houston Ship Channel Bridge

PHOTO: FIGG Engineering Group

Endnotes

All links were valid at the time of publication. Changes to web sites not maintained by the office of the Texas Comptroller may not be reflected in the links below.

  • 22 Simon Property Group, “Houston Galleria,” www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?id=805; (custom queries created), “Promotions: Simon Fashion Now,” www.simon.com/malleventsandprograms/promotions.aspx?eid=112115; Rice Village, “Rice Village Houston Texas,” www.ricevillageonline.com/; Galveston.com & Company, Inc., “Shopping Guide,” www.galveston.com/shopping/; City of Montgomery, Texas, “Local History,” www.historicmontgomerytexas.com/history.aspx, “Local Shopping & Antiques,” http://www.historicmontgomerytexas.com/att-shopping.aspx “Local Business Directory: Garrett Cottage Antiques,” http://www.historicmontgomerytexas.com/directory.aspx?id=27 “Local Business Directory: Front Porch Friends,” http://www.historicmontgomerytexas.com/directory.aspx?id=279; and Huntsville Visitors Bureau, “Shopping,” http://www.huntsvilletexas.com/shopping.htm. (Last visited January 14, 2010.)
  • 25 Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, “Texas Employment, Wages, and GSP in Oil & Gas Industries.” (internal data).
  • 26 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Texas Quick Facts,” http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=TX. (Last visited January 12, 2010.)
  • 27 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Weekly All Countries Spot Price FOB Weighted by Estimated Export Volume (Dollars per Barrel),” http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WTOTWORLD&f=W. (Last visited January 12, 2010.)
  • 28 The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes describe industries ranging from broad two-digit industry codes to more specific six-digit codes. To describe the oil and gas industry, the Comptroller’s office combines several sectors: oil and gas extraction (NAICS sector 211); support activities for mining (NAICS 213); petroleum and coal products (NAICS 324); chemical manufacturing (NAICS 325); oil and gas field machinery and equipment manufacturing (NAICS 333132); and a share of the high technology manufacturing sector (NAICS 334511). For more information on NAICS, see http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.
  • 29 Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, “Texas Employment, Wages, and GSP in Oil & Gas Industries.” (Internal data).
  • 30 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Oil: Crude and Petroleum Products Explained, Use of Oil,” http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_use; and “Oil: Crude and Petroleum Products Explained, Refining Crude Oil,” http:// tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page= oil_refining#tab3. (Last visited January 12, 2010.)
  • 31 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Texas Quick Facts.”
  • 32 American Association of Port Authorities, “Port Industry Statistics: World Port Rankings – 2007,” available as an Excel spreadsheet from http://www. aapa-ports.org/Industry/content.cfm?ItemNumber =900. (Last visited January 13, 2010.)
  • 33 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, rev. ed., by University of Texas at Austin, Center for Transportation Research (Austin, Texas, December 2008), p. 32, http://www.utexas.edu/research/ctr/pdf_reports/0_5538_P1.pdf (Consultants report); and Port of Houston Authority, “General Information,” http://www.portofhouston.com/geninfo/overview1.html. (Last visited January 12, 2010.)
  • 34 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 32; and Port of Houston Authority, The Local and Regional Economic Impacts of the Port of Houston, 2006 by Martin Associates (Houston, Texas, February 2007), pp. 1, 36, http://www.portofhouston.com/pdf/geninfo/PHA.EIS2006A.pdf. (Last visited January 12, 2010.)
  • 35 American Association of Port Authorities, “Port Industry Statistics: World Port Rankings – 2007.”
  • 36 Port of Texas City, “Location,” www.railporttc.com/Location.html; “Railroad Information,” http://www.railporttc.com/RailroadInformation.html; “Port of Texas City & Texas City Terminal Railway Company: Progress Built on Vision,” http://www.railporttc.com/default.html; and Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 56.
  • 37 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 56; and American Association of Port Authorities, “Port Industry Statistics: World Port Rankings-2007.”
  • 38 American Association of Port Authorities, “2007 U.S. Port Cargo Rankings by Tons,” available as an Excel spreadsheet at http://www.aapa-ports.org/Industry/content.cfm?ItemNumber=900. (Last visited January 13, 2010.)
  • 39 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 20; and American Association of Port Authorities, “2007 U.S. Port Cargo Rankings by Tons.”
  • 40 American Association of Port Authorities, “2007 U.S. Port Cargo Rankings by Tons.”
  • 41 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 24; and American Association of Port Authorities, “2007 U.S. Port Cargo Rankings by Tons.”
  • 42 Texas Department of Transportation, Research and Technology Implementation Office, Guide to the Economic Value of Texas Ports, p. 24.
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