Dan Zehr

Finance & economy reporter

Dan Zehr covers finance and the economy for the Austin American-Statesman. He rejoined the Statesman in March 2012 after three years in California. In his previous, five-year tour at the Statesman, Zehr wrote primarily about Dell and the personal-computer industry. Between the two terms at the newspaper, he collaborated on three book projects -- two on the corporate use of social media and one on the consumer market opportunities in the Arab League countries.

Latest from Dan Zehr

Tight labor market heightens premium on startups, education, exports
 Austin’s rapid business and population growth have started to stretch its capacity, snarling highways, slowing job growth and making the region less affordable for many of its residents. Yet, the metro area’s ability to sustain its entrepreneurial spark has allowed employers to continue adding jobs, and the region’s potential...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin’s rapid business and population growth have started to stretch its capacity, snarling highways, slowing job growth and making the region less affordable for many of its residents. Yet, the metro area’s ability to sustain its entrepreneurial spark has allowed employers to continue adding jobs, and the region’s potential...
Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate
 Austin-area workers streamed back into the labor force and, for most of them, directly into jobs during September, pushing the metro-area unemployment rate back down below 3 percent, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of employed Central Texans surged almost four times faster than the...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin-area workers streamed back into the labor force and, for most of them, directly into jobs during September, pushing the metro-area unemployment rate back down below 3 percent, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of employed Central Texans surged almost four times faster than the...
Dallas Fed: Harvey’s economic damage temporary; recovery boosts demand
 It appears Hurricane Harvey will inflict little long-term disruption on the regional economy, which continued to expand at a “moderate pace” over the past six weeks despite the giant storm, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy...

Posted: 4 days ago

It appears Hurricane Harvey will inflict little long-term disruption on the regional economy, which continued to expand at a “moderate pace” over the past six weeks despite the giant storm, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy...
Gentrification, rising rents put squeeze on more Austin households
 The pressures of gentrification and rising rents grew faster and spread farther in Austin than in comparable metro areas around the country, setting off ripple effects that could raise health care costs and undermine the quality of education for residents throughout the region, according to the authors of a report due out Tuesday. Researchers...

Posted: 13 days ago

The pressures of gentrification and rising rents grew faster and spread farther in Austin than in comparable metro areas around the country, setting off ripple effects that could raise health care costs and undermine the quality of education for residents throughout the region, according to the authors of a report due out Tuesday. Researchers...
Workforce plans put new emphasis on paid internships, apprenticeships
 It’s gotten so hard to find skilled welders, the factory managers at Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions hung a bell on the wall so they could celebrate their new hires. “We actually found one of these guys recently,” said Jeffrey Cottrell, the firm’s vice president of operations. The guy stopped by to drop off his ré...

Posted: 23 days ago

It’s gotten so hard to find skilled welders, the factory managers at Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions hung a bell on the wall so they could celebrate their new hires. “We actually found one of these guys recently,” said Jeffrey Cottrell, the firm’s vice president of operations. The guy stopped by to drop off his ré...
Report: SXSW 2017 pumped $348.6 million into Austin’s economy
 South by Southwest contributed $348.6 million to the Austin metro area’s economy in its latest fiscal year, as the growth of the organization and higher attendance costs helped drive a resurgence of economic gains for the region, according to an analysis released Wednesday by festival organizers. While still short of the double-digit...

Posted: 25 days ago

South by Southwest contributed $348.6 million to the Austin metro area’s economy in its latest fiscal year, as the growth of the organization and higher attendance costs helped drive a resurgence of economic gains for the region, according to an analysis released Wednesday by festival organizers. While still short of the double-digit...
CodeNext opens options for garage apartments, but finances a hurdle
 Thirteen years after moving into her three-bedroom home, Valerie Kanak Poynor moved into a new house — one in her own backyard. “At that time I was single, so it made no sense for me to own a three-bedroom house,” Poynor said. “But I couldn’t really afford to move.” She did some research on garage apartments...

5:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017

Thirteen years after moving into her three-bedroom home, Valerie Kanak Poynor moved into a new house — one in her own backyard. “At that time I was single, so it made no sense for me to own a three-bedroom house,” Poynor said. “But I couldn’t really afford to move.” She did some research on garage apartments...
Tight labor market, especially in tech, weighs down Austin’s job growth
 The Austin high-tech job market keeps soaking up all the talent it can find, but even the largest sponges reach their saturation point. While a recent report shows local demand for programming and other high-tech workers has remained at some of the highest levels in the nation, the metro area’s tight labor market and its dependence...

9:50 PM Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

The Austin high-tech job market keeps soaking up all the talent it can find, but even the largest sponges reach their saturation point. While a recent report shows local demand for programming and other high-tech workers has remained at some of the highest levels in the nation, the metro area’s tight labor market and its dependence...
Austin-area jobless rate jumps in August as local employers cut jobs
 Austin-area employers cut jobs in August for the first time since at least 2000, sending the local unemployment rate higher, according to preliminary data from the Texas Workforce Commission. The metro-area jobless rate rose to 3.4 percent in August from 3.2 percent the prior month, the first time Austin’s unemployment rose in an August...

3:25 PM Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

Austin-area employers cut jobs in August for the first time since at least 2000, sending the local unemployment rate higher, according to preliminary data from the Texas Workforce Commission. The metro-area jobless rate rose to 3.4 percent in August from 3.2 percent the prior month, the first time Austin’s unemployment rose in an August...
Dallas Fed: Region’s economy sustained momentum prior to Harvey
 A rebound in retail sales and broad-based demand for a wide range of products and services helped sustain a growing regional economy prior to Hurricane Harvey’s arrival, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. However, some of the report’s weakest notes emerged from areas later hammered by the...

9:22 PM Wednesday, Sep. 06, 2017

A rebound in retail sales and broad-based demand for a wide range of products and services helped sustain a growing regional economy prior to Hurricane Harvey’s arrival, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. However, some of the report’s weakest notes emerged from areas later hammered by the...
Harvey’s economic impact will be felt statewide, but so will recovery
 The destruction inflicted by Hurricane Harvey struck at the very heart of the Texas economy, shutting down one of the state’s largest shipping and distribution hubs, laying siege to the capital of its energy industry and pummeling some of its favorite tourist destinations. While most of the economic damage will be temporary –...

8:26 PM Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017

The destruction inflicted by Hurricane Harvey struck at the very heart of the Texas economy, shutting down one of the state’s largest shipping and distribution hubs, laying siege to the capital of its energy industry and pummeling some of its favorite tourist destinations. While most of the economic damage will be temporary –...