The San Antonio metro area economy has benefited tremendously from the development of the nearby Eagle-Ford Shale oil and gas reserves. Its economy is driven by a dynamic oil and natural gas industry, diverse manufacturing, financial services, and a proliferating biomedical/biotechnology industry. The region is also home to a large concentration of military facilities, including Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and others, providing employment to over 89,000 individuals. The tourism industry in San Antonio area attracts millions of visitors and employs over 90,000 people every year.
San Antonio was a strong economic performer coming out of the Great Recession, with above average job growth dating back to 2005. However, job growth has moderated in recent months, reflecting low natural gas prices and the reduced incentive to increase natural gas production. Year-over-year payroll job growth of 0.9 percent in October in the San Antonio MSA was well below the national average of 1.7 percent. However, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent in October still compares favorably with the national average of 7.3 percent for the month. Both single-family and multifamily housing starts declined in 2013Q2 after a surge in Q1. Housing starts are expected to tick up in coming quarters. House price appreciation is lagging the national average.
Texas oil production, expected to be 2.7 million barrels per day in 2014, will surpass that of OPEC members Venezuela, Algeria, and Nigeria for the year. However, increasing oil production may not necessarily bring new drilling jobs to the region, thereby continuing the current trend of moderate job growth in the San Antonio MSA through 2014.
Click here for the complete San Antonio MSA Regional Economic Update: SanAntonio 2013Q3.