Texas is beginning to separate itself from the struggling U.S. economy as a recent report shows a strengthening financial system in the Lonestar State. Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Susan Combs, recently traveled across Texas to discuss the state of the economy as well as fiscal challenges Texas can expect to face in the future.
She noted the following improvements to Texas’ economic condition:
- The number of employed workers reached 10.65 million in December 2011, an all-time high for Texas.
- 100% of Texas jobs lost during the recession were recovered; nationally, only 41% have been replaced.
- Unemployment in Texas is at 7%, as opposed to 8% across the country.
- Texas has experienced 25 consecutive months of growth in sales tax.
- The state’s rainy day fund has climbed to $6.2 billion.
- Only 7.4% of Texas depository institutions were unprofitable in 2011 (according to the FDIC); nationally, 14.7% of depository institutions did not see a profit.
- Texas banks experienced a slightly higher return on equity, assets and net equity than national averages.
Additionally, Combs outlined important factors that could pose a risk for the future of the Texas economy. These include a growing demand for public services, and an increase in federal regulatory burdens. According to Combs, we can ensure a strong fiscal health for our state by working together to strengthen the economy. She suggests getting engaged in the community or public sector and encouraging governments to work together to save money.