This Texas Oil Town Sees Strongest Salary Growth In US

Driven by the U.S. shale boom in the Permian basin, personal income in Midland County, Texas, grew by the highest percentage—17.5 percent—of all metropolitan counties in the United States last year, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) showed.

The average personal income in the metropolitan areas of the United States grew by 5.7 percent, the data showed, while personal income in the non-metropolitan part of the U.S. increased by 4.8 percent last year.

Last year, personal income increased in 3,019 U.S. counties, decreased in 91 counties, and was unchanged in 3, according to estimates released by the BEA.

Personal income in Midland and Odessa—two of the centers of the Permian shale production—increased in percentage terms more than the personal income in large cities, while per capita personal income in Midland and Odessa was higher than the per capita personal income in New York, San Francisco, or Boston, according to Bloomberg estimates of the data.

Per capita personal income in Midland and Odessa grew the fastest in the United States last year, according to the BEA data reported by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Midland had the lowest unemployment rate in Texas at 2 percent in September, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission, while Odessa’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, tied in third place with Austin-Round Rock and College Station-Bryan.

With the oil boom and population growth, schools in the towns of Midland and Odessa need more buildings to house more students and Odessa is even thinking of buying a hotel to house the new teachers that the schools need.

This time, unlike in previous boom-and-bust cycles, residents and local authorities believe that the boom will continue as the biggest U.S. oil companies are betting on the Permian to grow their production volumes.

But the already evident slowdown in U.S. oil production growth could jeopardize the boom in the Texas shale towns.

Oil and gas activity in Texas, northern Louisiana, and southern New Mexico declined in Q3 2019 as uncertainty remained high, the latest Dallas Fed Energy Survey showed.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com