A new report hails Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington as one of the most economically dynamic metro areas in the country.
The report, published by the nonprofit Walton Family Foundation (yes, the Waltons of Walmart), ranks Dallas-Fort Worth as the 27th most dynamic metro area in the United States and puts it at No. 6 among major metro areas.
Researchers graded each U.S. metro area, large and small, based on performance-related metrics in categories such as job growth, economic growth, and income growth. In DFW's case, the researchers were particularly struck by the region's creation of jobs "at a prodigious pace," pointing to its 116,400 new jobs in 2018 alone.
"It is a remarkable accomplishment for a metro the size of (DFW) to grow at such a rapid rate," the report proclaims. "The blended recipe for economic success leans heavily on company recruitment as it takes advantage of its attractive business climate with lower regulatory burdens and costs, along with its central location and excellent airline connections."
DFW is a home to major employers in the financial services, telecommunications, and manufacturing industries: AT&T, Verizon, Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung Telecommunications America; American Airlines and Southwest; and Texas Instruments, to name a few.
The region also has the University of Texas-Dallas to thank for supplying "much of the local engineering talent," Raytheon brings diversity, Lockheed offers a "gearing up operations for its F-35 Joint Strike Force program," and the Metroplex is "a logistics hub and a key location for international trade," the report adds.
Overall, the report found that knowledge-based economies fare better than metro areas lacking much-needed investments in tech, education, entrepreneurship, and commercialization.
“The data show that a knowledge-based economy is key to unlocking economic potential in metropolitan areas across the United States,” Ross DeVol, the report’s lead researcher, says in a release. “Cities making investments in a knowledge-based economy have performed better economically than those that have not.”
Somewhat surprisingly, the oil-rich metro area of Midland, Texas, tops the ranking, largely thanks to the region’s explosive economic and population growth.
“Besides oil, ranching, agriculture, healthcare and transportation remain economic pillars; however, focused efforts on diversifying its economy are underway in Midland,” the report says.
Austin ranks the seventh most dynamic metro area in the U.S. and second among major metro areas (behind Silicon Valley but ahead of huge economic hotspots like San Francisco and Seattle).
Neither Houston nor San Antonio appears in the ranking.