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March 23, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As Texas Comptroller, I am dedicated to understanding and promoting the Texas economy. One focus of my office is the study of regional economies and their impact on the state.

As a result of this ongoing commitment, we are publishing a series of reports called Texas in Focus that examines each of the state’s 12 economic regions and provides information and analysis for local and statewide leaders.

This installment, Texas in Focus: Gulf Coast, examines 13 counties along and near our coast, including the Houston metro area and Galveston.

The Gulf Coast region’s economic outlook is positive, with a diverse industry base providing valuable support for the state and national economies. As home to several of the world’s largest energy companies, the region’s traditional role as a leader in this sector should remain strong. Regional employment in health care continues to expand, and construction projects related to medicine were among the state’s ten largest in 2008 and 2009. The Texas Medical Center’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center consistently ranks as the nation’s top cancer treatment center.

Although the region experienced devastating effects from Hurricane Ike in 2008, the regional economy showed strong resilience, with help from state and federal aid programs. Gulf Coast employers provided a total of 2.6 million jobs in 2009. We expect the region’s employment to rise by 2.6 percent annually between 2009 and 2014. Enrollment in its educational institutions remains robust, with 243,553 students in Gulf Coast universities, colleges and health-related institutions in fall 2008.

The region’s economic strength and diversity will help ensure Texas’ long-term growth and prosperity.

I hope you find this report useful.

Sincerely,


Susan Combs


The Comptroller can be reached at P.O. Box 13528 Austin, TX 78711-3528
Telephone: 512-463-4000 toll free: 1-800-531-5441 FAX: 512-463-4965

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