Growth projected for Golden Triangle, Texas

Published 9:38 am Monday, April 23, 2018

By Ken Stickney

The Orange Leader

A prominent Texas economist projects 12,600 jobs will be added in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area over the next five years, part of what he called “broad-based growth.”

The Perryman Group’s 2018 Economic Forecast, released this week, says jobs in the MSA will grow at an annual rate of 1.44 percent. The Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA includes Hardin, Jefferson, Newton and Orange counties, a population area of more than 400,000.

“Most of that employment growth will come from the services, trade and construction sectors,” economist Ray Perryman said in an issued statement.

Perryman said the area’s economy sustained “a blow” from Hurricane Harvey.

“Effects will be felt for years to come, but growth in other areas will mask the negative impact to some extent, with near-term construction providing a boost. A full recovery for the Gulf Coast (and then some) is expected,” he said.

In an emailed response to a question, Perryman said specifically that with recovery from Harvey, the area has added jobs in recent months. He said many industry groups remain down, year over year, but several have expanded. He said investments “from new real estate assets to expansion in petrochemicals facilities are moving forward,” which should boost the economy.

“Employment in all major industry groups is expected to increase over the next five years,” he said. “Job gains will be concentrated in services, as is the case in most geographic areas as our economy continues to evolve toward a more services-oriented industrial base.”

Health care will account for “a notable source of jobs,” he said. So will manufacturing, which he called “a very positive signal” for the MSA.

“Major current and potential expansions in refining, petrochemicals, LNG and other areas bode well for the area,” he said.

In its 2018 forecast, the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic and financial analysis firm, also said:

  • U.S. output (real gross product) would grow some 2.89 percent annually and reach $19.3 trillion by 2022.
  • The U.S. labor market will add about 11.7 million new jobs over the next five years.
  • Texas’ output will increase by 4.01 percent annually, reaching $1.9 trillion by 2022.
  • Texas’ net new jobs will grow by 1.2 million over the next five years, 2.05 percent annually.

“Although countless issues could alter the course of the economy in a heartbeat, I am optimistic about what lies ahead for the U.S., Texas and local area,” Perryman said.