Breaking News
More () »

Governor: DFW engine drives powerful Texas economy

Governor Abbott called the Dallas-Fort Worth area “the most powerful economic region in the entire United States of America.”
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Stock photo.

In the past year, Texas added about 300,000 new jobs, and about a third of those jobs have been in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Texas unemployment rate is at a record low of 3.4 percent, with DFW’s rate even lower at 3.1 percent.

CEOs have ranked Texas as the best state in the country for business for 15 years in a row, and Texas has led the nation in exports for 17 years.

Gov. Greg Abbott rattled off those statistics and more in a State of the State address Thursday at a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon.

Abbott called the Dallas-Fort Worth area “the most powerful economic region in the entire United States of America."

RELATED: Gov. Abbott calls for massive medical expansion around Parkland, UT Southwestern

If Texas were its own country, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world, with a $1.8 trillion GDP, Abbott said.

“To put that in context, the Texas economy is far larger than the economy of Canada,” Abbott said. “It’s even larger than the economies of places like Australia and even Russia. That makes me more powerful than Putin.”

The decision by ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) in August to set up a major hub with at least 3,000 employees near Deep Ellum will expand Dallas’ growing reputation as a center of innovation, Abbott said.

The $125 million project will make Dallas the company’s largest hub outside of its San Francisco headquarters.

“That’s is the kind of thing that other people will pay attention to and say, ‘Gosh, if Uber is going to Dallas, then that’s a great place for us to go start a business,” Abbott said. "This is the kind of thing that snowballs. Uber is really a door opener for so many other businesses that will follow.”

He noted that a $2.6 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund helped seal the deal with Uber.

"They are doing more than just ride-sharing,” Abbott said of Uber’s long-term impact on the region. “They’re also doing what will soon be autonomous ride-sharing and ride flying. Yes, we are going to have flying cars, and they’re going to be working on those cars right here in Dallas, Texas.”

More on WFAA:

Before You Leave, Check This Out