A&M expert: Local economic recovery “in a holding pattern”

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC) recently released their monthly Economic Indicators report and our local economic recovery appears to have stalled.

“We’re continuing to move slowly towards a normalization,” said PERC Director Dennis Jansen, “in fact, our local economy has pretty well been in a holding pattern with, you know, slightly more ups than downs.”

Jansen joined First News at Four to break down the report.

He said that our local economy hasn’t made much progress in recovery efforts since students returned to campus around September. But Jansen said he’s hopeful that more vaccinations will change that.

“Local businesses will do better with lodging and meals, or students will return to in-person classes, at least largely in-person classes,” Jansen explained, “so they will be largely living in the local community and consuming housing and meals and entertainment and a local community, Texas A&M will again be hosting conferences and speakers and A&M faculty will travel to attend conferences and speak in other universities and other settings and this will go a long way towards helping those businesses that were most harmed by the pandemic, which are those in the entertainment and lodging and foodservice industries.”

According to the PERC report, Texas is falling behind the national average unemployment rate. Jansen said that’s rare and he explained that it has a lot to do with oil.

“Texas is suffering from what you might call a double whammy of the pandemic and the fall in oil prices that occurred last spring and summer,” Jansen said, “Texas has lost jobs in oil and gas production but also in related manufacturing, and until drilling returns at a higher rate Texas is going to face a strong headwind in terms of the unemployment rate.”

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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