Texas Prepares for Toyota to Move In
While California officials continue to lick their wounds, Texas is looking forward to the gradual move of Toyota’s North American headquarters from Torrance, Calif., to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area over the next few years.
And while Texas does face some general challenges in assimilating its recent and continuing population surge — due to a persistent drought there, among other things — economic-development experts foresee little difficulty for the robust economy of the Lone Star State in digesting Toyota’s move, the people who will come with it, and the development demands of housing and schooling the families of the 4,000 white-collar employees Toyota eventually is expected to employ there.
Toyota’s move to Texas is a high-profile relocation, but Texas has been used to adding — and filling — new jobs at a superlative pace. The state added more than 1.9 million new jobs over the period from December 1999 to April 2014, more than 35 percent of the entire nation’s total for that 15-year period, noted Michael Cox, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And Texas had an unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent in May, 16th-lowest in the United States.
Meanwhile, Cox noted, Texas’s median wages are 28th-highest in the nation; and they rank 8th-highest after adjusting for taxes and prices. Texas schools rank 3rd, he said, after adjusting for variations in student demographics, a raw statistic which places Texas 28th in the nation.
“We’re able to accomplish all this and more because the business environment in our state is largely competitive, and free markets solve problems,” Cox told me. “Texas is a meritocracy, where incentives still work to produce good results.”