Monday, November 24, 2014

Jobs: Bad news for Dallas County

The title caught my eye right off: "Sinking City" (DMagazine, December 2014, page 26. 

The opening felt familiar, but made my stomach hurt.  The report came from the City of Dallas' Office of Economic Development: 

"Dallas is a top 10 city for affluent residents, says a new study.  Overall wealth went up 23.8% between 2012 and 2013."

Been here before--most of the year digging into the facts of life in Dallas as a part of my assignment with the Mayor's Task Force on Poverty.  This sort of data is exactly what got our Mayor engaged, concerned and determined to work on the amazing challenges at the other end of our community's economic continuum. 

The Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas was "leading in the growth of high-net-worth individuals and wealth."

But, if you move away from the top and focus on jobs and wages for Dallas County, things don't seem so encouraging.  As a metropolitan statistical area, Dallas is the fourth largest in the nation.  Dallas County is part of this 13-county region, and is the largest of the counties.   Our region grew by 1.2 million people between 2000 and 2010. 

At the same time, Dallas County lost 215,230 jobs.  The article points out a shocking truth:  to lose that many jobs makes Dallas County almost a Detroit-type economic environment. 

During the same timeframe, surrounding counties posted big jobs gains:  Parker (+72%), Rockwall (78%), Denton (59%), Collin (51%). 

Wages in Dallas County rose by just a shade above 2%, or 9th from last among U. S. "urbanized counties."

Get this:  on jobs and wages, Dallas County is the 3rd worst performing county in the nation. 

Any idea which U. S. county is the worst performing on jobs and wages? 


Wayne County, Michigan, home of Detroit. 

Dallas, we have a problem. 

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