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Latest from Dan Zehr

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Despite tight labor market, Austin job growth maintains momentum
 Back around the middle of last year, workforce experts looked at the easing rate of Austin-area job growth and figured the inevitable had finally arrived: The region’s tight labor market was bringing expansion back to more reasonable levels. In true Austin fashion, though, local hiring re-accelerated in the months since. And after modest...

Posted: 2 days ago

Back around the middle of last year, workforce experts looked at the easing rate of Austin-area job growth and figured the inevitable had finally arrived: The region’s tight labor market was bringing expansion back to more reasonable levels. In true Austin fashion, though, local hiring re-accelerated in the months since. And after modest...
Modest December job growth caps steady year in Austin labor market
 Austin employers closed out 2017 with modest job growth in December, helping hold the regional unemployment rate steady in a tight labor market. Local employers added about 1,200 jobs during the month, a 0.1 increase that was in line with typical Decembers, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin employers closed out 2017 with modest job growth in December, helping hold the regional unemployment rate steady in a tight labor market. Local employers added about 1,200 jobs during the month, a 0.1 increase that was in line with typical Decembers, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The...
Comparing Austin’s competition for Amazon’s HQ2
 Here’s a look at how the finalists for  Amazon’s “HQ2” second headquarters project compare in a variety of categories, from economics to education. (Use the tool at the bottom to scroll through the table.) Notes: * This list does not include data for Toronto ** The New York City metro area includes two potential...

Posted: 3 days ago

Here’s a look at how the finalists for  Amazon’s “HQ2” second headquarters project compare in a variety of categories, from economics to education. (Use the tool at the bottom to scroll through the table.) Notes: * This list does not include data for Toronto ** The New York City metro area includes two potential...
Dallas Fed: With tax overhaul as ‘tailwind,’ regional economy surged
 Economic activity in Texas and parts of two neighboring states surged over the past six weeks, as the federal tax overhaul boosted confidence across a wide range of businesses in the region, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal report on the economy compiled...

Posted: 4 days ago

Economic activity in Texas and parts of two neighboring states surged over the past six weeks, as the federal tax overhaul boosted confidence across a wide range of businesses in the region, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal report on the economy compiled...
USA Compression Partners plans $1.8 billion acquisition

Posted: 5 days ago

USA Compression Partners on Tuesday announced the acquisition of a key rival in a complex, $1.8 billion deal that will make the Austin-based company one of the country’s largest providers of the horsepower that pushes natural gas through pipelines. USA Compression said it will acquire CDM Resource Management and CDM Environmental and...
Key Texas lawmaker supports Medicaid policy change

Posted: 10 days ago

An influential Texas lawmaker says he supports a new federal policy that allows states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, who chairs the Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, said the policy change will allow states more flexibility with their health care systems...
After Bitcoin surges, Texas regulators start to scrutinize virtual currency offers
 The skyrocketing value of Bitcoin and the launch of several new virtual currencies in recent months has attracted a wave of new investors and speculators.  It has also attracted the eye of federal and state securities regulators across the country.  The Texas State Securities Board ratcheted the scrutiny up a notch in recent weeks...

Posted: 11 days ago

The skyrocketing value of Bitcoin and the launch of several new virtual currencies in recent months has attracted a wave of new investors and speculators.  It has also attracted the eye of federal and state securities regulators across the country.  The Texas State Securities Board ratcheted the scrutiny up a notch in recent weeks...
Dallas Fed: Texas job growth will rebound to 3 percent this year
 With the Texas economy “firing on all cylinders,” statewide job growth will accelerate in 2018, but the increasingly tight labor market here and across the country will limit the surge, according to a forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Dallas Fed now expects Texas employers to add around 366,000 jobs, an increase...

Posted: 12 days ago

With the Texas economy “firing on all cylinders,” statewide job growth will accelerate in 2018, but the increasingly tight labor market here and across the country will limit the surge, according to a forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Dallas Fed now expects Texas employers to add around 366,000 jobs, an increase...
A look at what 2018 could bring for Austin’s economy
 Austin enters 2018 with a labor market and economy as robust as any it has experienced in nearly two decades. However, two critical issues from the dot-com past are re-emerging and will shape 2018 — technology’s ability to increase productivity and prosperity; and the threat the tech industry could pose to a broad-based sharing...

Posted: 16 days ago

Austin enters 2018 with a labor market and economy as robust as any it has experienced in nearly two decades. However, two critical issues from the dot-com past are re-emerging and will shape 2018 — technology’s ability to increase productivity and prosperity; and the threat the tech industry could pose to a broad-based sharing...
Austin’s 2018 economy: Tech challenges, job growth, more VC dollars
 Austin enters 2018 with a labor market and economy as robust as any it has experienced in nearly two decades. Even as the region’s economic output has eased a bit in recent years, its expansion continues to outpace nearly every large metro area in the country. And, on top of that, its unemployment rate has dropped to levels not seen...

Posted: 16 days ago

Austin enters 2018 with a labor market and economy as robust as any it has experienced in nearly two decades. Even as the region’s economic output has eased a bit in recent years, its expansion continues to outpace nearly every large metro area in the country. And, on top of that, its unemployment rate has dropped to levels not seen...
Dallas Fed: Texas factory output spikes to 11-year high in December
 Texas factory production tends to ebb and flow from one month to the next, but overall output surged throughout 2017 and in December reached its highest point in more than 11 years, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The state production index, a key measure of factory activity statewide, jumped to a reading...

Posted: 26 days ago

Texas factory production tends to ebb and flow from one month to the next, but overall output surged throughout 2017 and in December reached its highest point in more than 11 years, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The state production index, a key measure of factory activity statewide, jumped to a reading...
Austin job creation re-accelerates as companies invest in expansion
 Central Texas employers eased their way into 2017, scaling back on job growth as skilled workers became harder to find and uncertainty emanated from Washington. But they’re buzzing again now. Job creation rates jumped in recent months, even as the labor market grew even tighter. The Austin business-cycle index, a gauge of metro-area...

Posted: 30 days ago

Central Texas employers eased their way into 2017, scaling back on job growth as skilled workers became harder to find and uncertainty emanated from Washington. But they’re buzzing again now. Job creation rates jumped in recent months, even as the labor market grew even tighter. The Austin business-cycle index, a gauge of metro-area...
Austin jobless rate nudges higher in November, but job creation surges
 Job creation in the Austin metro area surged during November, helping absorb much of an unusually large influx of workers into the labor force, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The metro unemployment rate ticked up to 2.7 percent in November from 2.6 percent the prior month, apparently due to...

Posted: 30 days ago

Job creation in the Austin metro area surged during November, helping absorb much of an unusually large influx of workers into the labor force, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The metro unemployment rate ticked up to 2.7 percent in November from 2.6 percent the prior month, apparently due to...
Forestar Group CEO exiting in wake of D.R. Horton merger

10:34 PM Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

Austin-based Forestar Group Inc. on Thursday announced that CEO Phillip Weber will resign Dec. 28, just months after one of the country’s largest homebuilders acquired a majority stake in the company. Weber will be replaced by Daniel Bartok, a Forestar Group board member with more than 35 years of real estate experience, most recently...
Chamber sets new economic roadmap with Opportunity Austin 4.0
 The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday will unveil Opportunity Austin 4.0, the latest iteration of its economic development roadmap and one that seeks to expand on existing efforts to help more Central Texans share in the region’s prosperity. While the architects of the new version did not call for any surprising new strategic...

11:27 PM Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday will unveil Opportunity Austin 4.0, the latest iteration of its economic development roadmap and one that seeks to expand on existing efforts to help more Central Texans share in the region’s prosperity. While the architects of the new version did not call for any surprising new strategic...
Dallas Fed: Regional economy expands despite lingering Harvey effects
 The regional economy brushed off most of Hurricane Harvey’s impact and sustained a healthy pace of expansion over the past six weeks, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy compiled every six weeks by the Federal Reserve banks...

9:20 PM Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

The regional economy brushed off most of Hurricane Harvey’s impact and sustained a healthy pace of expansion over the past six weeks, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy compiled every six weeks by the Federal Reserve banks...
Governor’s tweet: Inaccurate or a breach of confidentiality?

12:23 AM Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

A tweet sent Wednesday by Gov. Greg Abbott might have violated rules on the confidentiality of workforce numbers prior to their official release. “The Texas unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been in 40 years & Texas led the nation last month in new job creation,” Abbott said in his tweet. The governor’s...
Austin-area manufacturers battle tight job market
 A few years ago, John Newman ran into a young man working at a local restaurant. The guy was in a low-skill, low-wage job, but his work hinted at a certain aptitude with his hands and his mind. So Newman, chief financial officer at Athena Manufacturing, struck up a conversation with him. “He ended up being one of the smartest guys in...

10:46 PM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

A few years ago, John Newman ran into a young man working at a local restaurant. The guy was in a low-skill, low-wage job, but his work hinted at a certain aptitude with his hands and his mind. So Newman, chief financial officer at Athena Manufacturing, struck up a conversation with him. “He ended up being one of the smartest guys in...
As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap
 It took months for Ashley Senatus to find her first nursing job, and she loved the colleagues and managers with whom she worked over the next three-plus years. She just couldn’t ignore her curiosity and sense of adventure. So rather than settle into a nursing career in her hometown Miami, she signed on with Cross Country Staffing, one...

7:31 PM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

It took months for Ashley Senatus to find her first nursing job, and she loved the colleagues and managers with whom she worked over the next three-plus years. She just couldn’t ignore her curiosity and sense of adventure. So rather than settle into a nursing career in her hometown Miami, she signed on with Cross Country Staffing, one...
Austin jobless rate at 2.6% as employers add jobs, labor force shrinks
 A surge in local job creation and an unusual contraction in the labor force combined to help send the Austin-area unemployment rate to its lowest point in almost 17 years. The metro-area jobless rate dropped to 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.9 percent the prior month and to its lowest point since it hit 2.3 percent in December 2000,...

4:41 PM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

A surge in local job creation and an unusual contraction in the labor force combined to help send the Austin-area unemployment rate to its lowest point in almost 17 years. The metro-area jobless rate dropped to 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.9 percent the prior month and to its lowest point since it hit 2.3 percent in December 2000,...
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