Over the year ending this April, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area added 106,800 payroll jobs, the equivalent of a moderately-sized city. Strong job growth has lowered the unemployment rate for the area to 5.4 percent as of March, well below the national average of 6.7 percent for that month. The recent announcement that Toyota will be moving its North American headquarters to Plano, creating 4,000 new jobs for North Texas, adds to our expectations for ongoing strong job growth. The majority of the new jobs will not be filled until Toyota completes construction of their new headquarters by early 2017. Likewise, State Farm Insurance is moving a regional headquarters to Richardson, adding about 8,000 jobs when fully operational.
The State Farm and Toyota relocations are significant additions for North Texas and will spur more development on the northeast side of the Metroplex. Developer Vision5 is planning to build a 17-story condo and retail tower later this year in Plano. It will be the first high-rise condo north of the Bush Turnpike. The developer already has plans for a second tower. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is also expanding, with the addition of 10 new gates at the Terminal B concourse extension. The south side of the Metroplex will be getting some help from a new 212-acre Midlothian Business Park.
Ongoing progress of the Trinity River Corridor Project will spur additional development west of downtown Dallas. Plans continue to be formulated for a high-speed rail connection from Dallas to Fort Worth as well as from Dallas to Houston. Eighteen minutes from Dallas to Fort Worth, and 90 minutes from Dallas to Houston sounds very attractive in light of the certainty of increasing traffic congestion throughout the rapidly growing Texas metro areas.
Click here for the complete North Texas MSA Regional Economic Update: NorthTexas 2014Q1.