Abbott touts Texas’s economic prowess at Houston Region Business Coalition

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Gov. Greg Abbott touted Texas' economic prowess at a Houston Region Business Coalition monthly meeting Wednesday, and provided an update on the state's rebuilding business environment after suffering losses last year due to the state shut down created by his executive orders.

Last year, Texas led the nation in oil and gas bankruptcies. From January to November 2020, 1,656 companies filed for bankruptcy in Texas, the Texas Lawbook reported, up from 610 over the same time period last year. Energy companies accounted for the vast majority, followed by retailers.

Still, more and more companies are moving to Texas, drawn by lower taxes, fewer regulations and more flexibility than they had in the primarily blue states they left.

“Texas remains the promised land for business in America because we offer an economic environment unlike any other in the nation,” Abbott said.

According to Site Selection Magazine, for nine consecutive years, Texas has led the nation for having the most new and expanded corporate facilities, with 781 projects in 2020 alone. This includes giants like Oracle, HP, and Tesla moving or expanding their headquarters to Texas.

Tesla’s $1 billion auto plant already broke ground outside of Austin, as well as new facilities being built by Facebook, Apple and Google in the state’s capital. Other big names include Houston-based Axiom Space’s $2 billion investment in an aerospace facility, Amazon’s expansion in Waco and TJX Cos.’s project in El Paso. And while major corporations continue to relocate their headquarters to Texas, so also do smaller family-owned businesses, including cheese and food processing plants.

As businesses continue to move to Texas and jobs remain open, the Texas Workforce Commission reports that the state’s unemployment rate was 5.6% in September 2021, having gained 95,800 nonfarm jobs and 85,300 private jobs.

Texas factory and retail sales activity both expanded in August 2021 for the 15th month in a row, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, despite service sector activity slowing.

In August of this year, there were more than 39 new project locations announced in Texas, the state Department of Economic Development reports. These projects are expected to create over $310 million in capital investment and 1,762 new jobs.

Texas entered 2021 as the world's ninth largest economy based on 2019 GDP data, according to the International Monetary Fund.

From 2015 to 2021, Texas’s economy was the tenth largest in the world – ahead of Canada and South Korea. Earlier this year, Texas's economy overtook Brazil's to become the ninth largest in the world.

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