HillCo Partners is a public affairs firm based in Austin, Texas. Their services include public policy advisory, lobbying, and regulatory and communications updates. It was founded by Bill Miller and Neal T. ‘Buddy’ Jones, in 1998. Both of its founders are well-known in Texas’ political arena. Both of them have also been inducted into the ‘Lobbyist Hall of Fame'.
While Neal T Buddy Jones is the lead lobbyist, Bill Miller is the public face of the firm. He wears many hats, including that of a lobbyist, an adviser, a sage, and a fixer.
The HillCo Partners team is famous for its insightful communications to its clients. This includes economic updates and trends for the state of Texas. The information below has been gathered to provide a detailed overview of the economy of Texas. Some of the key markers addressed below include, labor market information, state sales tax revenue, and the Texas Bond ratings, as provided by major rating agencies.
Labor Market Information
Some of the key figures of the labor market are as follows:
- Unemployment rate: 4.8%
- Total Non-farm Employment: 13,084,600
- Annual Growth Rate: 5.5%
- Jobs Change Over the Year: 687,500
The Texas Labor Market has shown positive trends throughout. It is showing continuous growth which is a positive sign. Unemployment was down to 4.7% in February 2022, from 6.6% in February 2021. The number of Texas residents that are unemployed has also reduced by 254,342, as compared to February 2021. Since February 2021, 519,342 more workers have been added to the workforce. These positive effects were felt throughout the country, as the unemployment rate in the US went down from 6.2% in February 2021 to 3.8% in February 2022.
According to the statistics shared by the Federal Bank Reserve of Dallas, the economy in Texas has continued its steady growth. This means that the Texan economy is recovering well from the pandemic, and things are slowly starting to go back to normal. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has fueled oil prices but these rates have also steadied in the past few days. Employment has continued to increase, with wages also increasing for workers. The highest increases in wages were reported in Dallas at 9.9%. In El Paso, payrolls climbed by 4.6%. The State of Texas is also doing well in job growth compared to the rest of the country. In 2021, the overall growth rate in the US was 4.5%, whereas in Texas it was 5.1%.
Texas Bond Rating
Texas Bond Ratings are a reflection of the ability of the state to pay back its debts. These ratings are provided by Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s. These ratings give the investors an idea of the trustworthiness and liability of future investments. The higher the rating, the lower the interest rate. Following are the ratings for the State of Texas:
State Sales Tax Revenue
The Texas State Comptroller, Glenn Hegar also had positive news to share. In February 2022, the State of Texas collected $3.23 billion in sales tax. This represents a 28.6 percent increase compared to February 2021. A vast majority of these sales were done in January and the State received these payments in February. “State sales tax collections continued to surge and reached an all-time February high, with receipts from all major economic sectors coming in well above year-ago levels,” Hegar said.
This uptick in sales tax is largely attributable to business spending. Though the receipts in the mining sector remain below pre-pandemic levels, it was still the highest contributor. Industries that have displayed double-digit growth include wholesale traders, manufacturing, and construction.
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