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Some broader economic challenges masked in Texas thanks to 'huge' migration

Growth in Texas and Dallas has been bolstered by robust migration, insulating the region.
Texas flag. Photo: John Gusky, KVUE

Texas is experiencing significant migration into the state, which has helped its overall growth, Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said to business professionals at a recent ULI Dallas-Fort Worth event.

Not only is Texas benefitting from the migration trend, but Dallas is, as well, he said.

Kaplan explained there a couple of reasons why the U.S. economy hasn’t been able to grow faster than it currently is. The U.S. has an aging population, and workforce growth is slowing.

Additionally, productivity has not grown enough to offset the decelerating workforce growth.

“The good news is Texas doesn't have many or any of these (broader economic) problems. I mean, it has the productivity issue,” he said at the event. “But we're masking all these trends because of huge migration into the state.”

UMB Bank’s Chief Investment Officer and KC Mathews expressed similar optimism in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal.

“Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth – what’s great about (these) cities and states here is you have vibrant economies and you have migration of people. That’s really important,” Mathews said.

Recently, Kaplan stated in an essay that despite a more challenging oil and gas production environment, Dallas Fed economists expect Texas job growth in 2020 to be about 2.1 percent.

The essay also said that, although Texas’ economy has grown and become more diversified over the past couple of decades, the energy sector still makes up about 9 percent of Texas GDP and “remains a key economic driver in a number of important regions of the state.

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