The economies of Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas grew faster than the rest of the country in April, accounting together for 82,000 net new jobs. The numbers suggest that Texas will continue to lead the rest of the country when May employment numbers come out for metro areas. In April, the Texas gains amounted to about 45 percent of the (revised) national gain of 177,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, announced today, the whole net employment gain nationally for May was only 38,000. The stock market, banks and economists are getting worried.
Texas has been hit by the national downturn, but has bounced back better. Most of its economic indicators are positive. Oil and gas have much to do with it, of course, but so do state fiscal policies under Governor Rick Perry that contain spending and regulation and hold down taxes. It has been a winning strategy in Texas and compares dramatically with the disastrous conditions in California and New York, Texas' rivals in size. Perry's policies also compare favorably with the Obama Administration on the national level.
Perry has a positive story to tell a nation longing for real "hope and change." His story versus Obama's story would set up the Texas governor for a strong presidential race. He's thinking about it.