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Economic Indicators Reflect County Growth

June 7, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Wood County -- Texas Workforce data released 18 May indicates the workforce is expanding in Wood County, with the April 2012 employment rate at 93.3%, with an unemployment rate at 6.7%, down 0.6% from the prior period and 1.3% from 8% unemployment rate at the beginning of the year. The employment rate of workers in Wood County is marked at 17,228, up from 17,055 at the beginning of the year. This compares in line with state trends, with an April unemployment rate of 6.9%, down 1.1% from the prior period.

Chana Gail Willis, Executive Director of the Wood County Industrial Commission said, "Data from the State Comptroller's office show 37 applications for new sales tax permits on the retail side for Wood County, with 14 of those in the last three weeks."

Susan Combs' Comptroller's Weekly Economic Outlook (24 May) stated that "Job growth, sales tax collections - both from business and consumer purchases - as well as automobile sales, signal that the Texas economy has emerged from the recent recession."

"The number of Texas workers reached an all-time high of 10.65 million in December 2011, a sign that employers are looking at the recent recession through a rear-view mirror."

"Another indicator that the state's economy has been comparatively healthy was the U.S. Census Bureau report that Texas added more people (421,000) than any other state from 2010 to 2011. Although Texas has only 8 percent of the nation's population, the state added nearly 19 percent of the nation's population growth for the year."

"Texas and the nation returned to economic growth in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Texas real gross domestic product grew by 2.4 percent, compared with 1.6 percent GDP growth for the nation."

In Texas, the driving forces of growth are primarily on manufacturing and distribution … that means jobs.

"Gross domestic product by state, formerly referred to as gross state product (GSP), is a broad measure of a state's production. Economic production and growth are represented by real GSP, so it can be seen as a primary indicator to gauge the health of the state economy. The term "real" refers to GSP and GDP values being indexed to a certain year (2005) to accurately reflect the rate of change. Failure to do so would lead to inflated growth rates. From 2001 to 2010, U.S. real GDP grew by 16.8 percent while Texas' real GSP grew by 23.5 percent for the same period." In addition, the reports reflect Texas population grew by $4.3 million people since 2000.

During Governor Rick Perry's presentation on Wednesday in Lindale, he reiterated to a standing room only crowd his marketing initiative on the Texas Budget Compact.

Gov. Perry said. " If Texas leaders will commit to govern and budget by the five principles of the Texas Budget Compact, we will ensure continued growth and prosperity, an honest budget, and more limited government."

Gov. Perry is pledging his commitment to the following principles, and asking lawmakers to do the same:

Practice Truth in Budgeting

Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population and inflation

Oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small business tax exemption permanent.

Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund.

Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies.

Perry stated in his remarks on the Texas Budget Compact, that , "We stand here today, we're the only state that has regained all the jobs lost in the recent recession, and we're building on that success, with the private sector adding more than 331,000 jobs from February 2011 to February 2012. That's more private sector jobs added than any other state. Our unemployment rate is well below the national average, even as we continue to attract job-seekers from all across the United States. Those job-seekers are coming to Texas because they know we've made a special place here."

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