Austin Economy Update
Austin Economy Update
Economist Angelou gives positive forecast for Austin
by Mitzie Stelte
February 24, 2012
Austin's economic forecast for this year and next year is a positive one with 45,000 new jobs projected in 2012 and 2013, according to economist Angelos Angelou.
Angelou, the founder and principal executive officer of Austin-based AngelouEconomics, has been providing economic forecasts since 1984 with his latest one presented at an event Feb. 23 at the Austin Convention Center.
"We're going to have a good solid two years," Angelou stated. "The economy recovered sufficiently in 2011 to basically allow us to have a more aggressive forecast."
The seasoned economist predicts that of the 45,000 new jobs in store for Austin over the next two years, 18,900 will be added this year. Last year, Austin saw a gain of 12,800 jobs.
According to his forecast, much of the job gains will be in the sectors of retail trade, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. As a result, Austin's unemployment rate should drop to 5.6 percent in 2013. He said the average for 2011 had been just about seven percent with the unemployment rate at 6.1 percent in December.
Austin's population will grow by 88,000 people over the next two years to nearly 1.84 million with roughly 60 percent of newcomers from out of state and 40 percent from within Texas.
Last year, he said there were about 39,000 newcomers to Austin who collectively spent about $1.1 billion.
"With increases in population, there have been increases in retail sales and employment and more growth in real estate," Angelou said.
An additional 14,500 single-family units and 8,000 multifamily units are expected in 2012 and 2013, as well as increases in office, industrial and retail space construction.
Technology trends were also highlighted, including the semiconductor, personal computer and information technology industries.
According to Angelou's findings, in 2011, the semiconductor industry saw $300 billion in chip sales and 3.1 percent growth between 2011 and 2012. At the same time, the personal computer industry had $357 million in shipments and 9.3 percent growth, while information technology saw $3.67 billion in spending and 3.7 percent growth.
He said nationally and globally, IT spending is projected to grow, which of course, benefits Austin.
Overall, economically, Angelou said Austin historically has always performed better than the rest of the country, with this year as no exception.
"We've always done so," he said.
Angelou also mentioned the upcoming Formula 1 race, South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and the Austin City Limits Festival.
According to his forecast, F1, which has its first race in Austin in November, could have marked implications on the automotive and clean energy industries. He estimated the potential economic impact of F1 at more than $500 million per year.
Attendance has continued to grow for both SXSW and ACL, and 2012 is projected to be no exception.
Angelou said he felt compelled to highlight these events to show Austin is not solely high-tech, but a balance between technology and fun.
“The two brands are not clashing or competing,” he said.