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April 29, 2021

Texas’ workforce beats the competition

Texas is among a handful of states that boasts a tax-friendly business climate. But our state has the edge on other states, even those that also have no state income tax: the Texas workforce is best and one of the fastest-growing in the nation.

In late April 2021, Chief Executive Magazine announced the results of its annual CEO survey.  For the 17th year in a row, Texas is the No. 1 State to Do Business. Florida was No. 2 and remains one of Texas’ strongest competitors in attracting new projects. Texas’s skilled workforce is a significant factor in its track record of success, along with its tax policy and regulatory environment. Florida, like Texas, has no personal state income tax, which often makes it a destination for businesses and individuals looking to flee high-tax states like New York. But national census figures and labor and education data shows Texas has the edge when it comes to a skilled labor pool.

Texas has the nation’s second largest workforce, but it also has the nation’s second largest population, which — if you’ve been keeping up with the news — you know is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.

Texas’ workforce is bigger and younger

But I want to dig deeper to compare Texas to other states competing with us for corporate relocations and expansions to show why Texas’ workforce strategy is paying off.

Did you know that Texas’ population is 35% greater than Florida’s? The population of Texas is also younger, with a median age of 35, seven years younger than Florida’s at age 42. In fact, Texas’ workforce has a younger median age than Georgia (37), Arizona (38), Illinois (38), North Carolina (39), New York (39), Michigan (40), and Pennsylvania (41).

Let’s look at some other workforce statistics.

At more than 14 million, Texas’ labor force is 38% greater than Florida’s. It’s also 47% greater than New York’s; 129% greater than Illinois’; 172% greater than Georgia’s; 180% greater than North Carolina’s; 198% greater than Michigan’s; and a staggering 291% greater than Arizona’s.

Texas has more students being trained to join the workforce

As C-Suite decision makers know, it is not just how you fill your talent needs today, but how you will fill them moving forward.

Texas — once again — delivers. Let’s look at higher education enrollment in Texas compared to other states.

As of the fall 2020, Texas had more than 1.45 million students enrolled in higher education institutions, which is 54% more than Florida, with an enrollment of 945,471. Texas has 46% more than New York; 136% more than Pennsylvania;162% more than Illinois; 181% more than Georgia; 184% more than North Carolina; 218% more than Arizona; and 234% more than Michigan.

Let’s go a step further and look at Texas high school graduates. In 2019-2020, Texas public high schools graduated 362,296 students. That is 88% more than Florida; 100% more than New York; 167% more than Illinois; 213% more than Georgia and Pennsylvania; 231% more than North Carolina; 268% more than Michigan; and over 400% more than Arizona.

So, is everything bigger in Texas? When it comes to our workforce today and beyond, the answer is clearly YES!

Sources: U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Education Association, National Student Clearinghouse®

Robert Allen is President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC). TxEDC’s mission is to promote Texas as the premier state to locate or expand the business and to offer insight and key resources to advisers and decision-makers. Follow Robert and TxEDC on Twitter at @GoBiginTexas.

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