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July 29, 2016

Energy Sector Fueled More Economies in 2014

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Energy Sector Fueled More Economies in 2014

Texas led the nation in having the fastest-growing economies in 2014. Half of the 16 metro areas where the economy grew at a 6 percent rate or more last year were located in the Lone Star state, the Commerce Department reported this week.

Fastest-Growing Economies in 2014

  1. Midland, Texas
  2. San Angelo, Texas
  3. Lake Charles, La.
  4. Greeley, Colo.
  5. Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  7. Bismarck, N.D.
  8. Victoria, Texas
  9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  10. Corpus Christi, Texas
  11. Charleston, W.Va. 
  12. Odessa, Texas

Overall, the Commerce Department reports that economies rose in 282 of the nation's 381 metro areas last year.

Midland, Texas, a city known for its energy-rich sector, led the nation with a 24.1 percent advance in gross domestic product. Other Texas places high on the list included San Angelo, Texas, with an 11.4 percent growth, and Dallas with an 8.5 percent increase. Lake Charles, La., was No. 3 with a 10.3 percent growth, and Greely, Colo., landed at No. 4 with a 9.9 percent uptick.

The best performing economies tended to have a booming energy sector, The Wall Street Journal reports. "Natural resources and mining, which includes oil and gas extraction, was a relatively small contributor to growth, on average, in U.S. metro areas," WSJ reports. "But for areas leading overall growth, it was among the biggest drivers."

In Greely, Colo., natural resources and mining account for more than a third of that area's total economic growth.

Recent drops in oil prices over the last year likely will cause the economies in many of these fastest-growing areas to slow, WSJ reports. In Odessa, Texas, for example, the economy increased 6.3 percent in 2014 but the town has seen its unemployment rate rise to 4.5 percent in July 2015, up from 3.8 percent one year earlier.

Source: "Texas Towns Led the Country in Economic Growth in 2014," The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 23, 2015)