San Antonio Boosted By Energy, Manufacturing Growth

  • The San Antonio labor market, on the heels of strong 2011 growth, is poised for further acceleration over coming quarters.  Compared to the nation’s 1.0 percent year-over-year job growth, the San Antonio job market is estimated to have grown 1.4 percent in 2011.  Additionally, San Antonio’s estimated 2011 unemployment rate of 7.5 percent is 1.4 percentage points below the national average.  Healthy population growth, in the range of two percent, further confirms the relative attractiveness of the region’s labor markets.  Looking ahead, economic drivers such as the Eagle Ford Shale natural gas resource and increased regional commitment from companies like Boeing will provide a further influx of jobs and activity into the San Antonio economy.  Local San Antonio officials estimate a total addition of 10,000 jobs stemming from Eagle Ford Shale activity over the next three years.  In addition to refurbishing work on 787 Dreamliners, Boeing will move aircraft workers and maintenance of Air Force One from its shuttered Wichita, Kansas plant to San Antonio.  Existing maintenance work of the Air Force fleet at the San Antonio site is, however, vulnerable to spending cuts in the federal defense budget.

  • Local area personal income growth, which has recently trended higher than the national level, should benefit from strong job growth in the region’s energy sector.  Wages for San Antonio oil and gas extraction workers average roughly 2.5 times the average wage for all employees. Over the next several years, San Antonio income growth is forecast to expand between 5.5 to 6.0 percent annually. This, in turn, should provide a significant boost to local spending—good news for housing markets and local businesses. 
  • The San Antonio housing market has been well-insulated from the worst of the recessionary decline in home prices.  2011 home prices are estimated to have dipped only 0.4 percent from 2010 levels, compared to a 4.5 percent national decline over the same period.  Steady population growth and migration to the region have helped keep inventories low and home prices relatively stable. 

Click here for the complete San Antonio Regional Economic Update, including a forecast table and charts of regional economic activity: SanAntonio2012Q1.

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