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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economyEconomic Data

Manufacturing in the Alamo Region

The 19-county Alamo Region in south central Texas stretches from Fredericksburg and Kerrville in the Hill Country to Port Lavaca on the Gulf Coast.

The region includes two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, which includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties, and the Victoria MSA, which includes Calhoun, Goliad and Victoria counties. Counties in the region not associated with an MSA include DeWitt, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Kerr and Lavaca counties.

In 2019, the Alamo Region had an estimated population of about 2.9 million (9.9 percent of the state total) and accounted for approximately 9.2 percent of the state’s total employment.

The region included an estimated 62,503 manufacturing jobs in 2019, about 5.4 percent of its total employment of 1,157,671. The manufacturing sector’s regional gross domestic product (GDP) of $14.4 billion accounted for 9.2 percent of the total regional GDP of $156.4 billion. The Alamo Region’s manufacturers paid $4.1 billion in wages in 2019, about 6.8 percent of total regional wages of $59.4 billion. Annual wages for its manufacturing jobs averaged nearly $65,075 in 2019, 26.8 percent higher than the average wages of $51,313 for all regional jobs.

In Calhoun County, manufacturing played a particularly significant role, contributing 28.3 percent of the county’s total jobs, 67.8 percent of its total GDP, and 43.7 percent of its total wages, results far exceeding the regional averages. The county’s manufacturing jobs paid average wages of more than $107,000, also far exceeding the regional average (Exhibit 1).

 

Exhibit 1: Manufacturing Overview by County, Alamo Region, 2019

County Employment Gross Domestic Product Wages
Total Share Total
(millions)
Share Total
(millions)
Share Average
Annual Wages
Atascosa 362 2.5% $202 6.3% $21 2.7% $59,300
Bandera 20 0.6% $5 1.2% $1 1.1% $65,168
Bexar 36,622 4.2% $7,114 6.5% $2,378 5.2% $64,934
Calhoun 3,671 28.3% $2,546 67.8% $394 43.7% $107,347
Comal 3,119 5.2% $463 7.6% $175 6.5% $56,250
DeWitt 771 9.8% $88 2.6% $42 11.1% $54,171
Frio 90 1.2% $16 1.3% $6 1.5% $65,545
Gillespie 1,219 11.1% $89 8.3% $45 10.2% $37,060
Goliad 19 1.4% $3 0.8% $1 2.2% $65,311
Gonzales 1,098 14.9% $110 3.8% $52 16.1% $47,344
Guadalupe 8,098 19.5% $2,292 37.7% $486 25.4% $59,971
Jackson 1,104 18.2% (D) (D) $53 18.7% $48,168
Karnes 335 5.0% $79 1.2% $26 6.6% $78,840
Kendall 1,081 6.2% $190 8.5% $57 6.4% $52,773
Kerr 1,188 6.3% $182 9.0% $70 8.6% $58,712
Lavaca 997 17.9% $293 23.6% $54 22.8% $53,931
Medina 120 1.2% $11 1.0% $4 1.0% $31,870
Victoria 2,061 5.3% $617 13.3% $170 9.2% $82,596
Wilson 528 5.9% $87 8.1% $31 8.4% $58,995
Alamo Region Total 62,503 5.4% $14,385 9.2% $4,067 6.8% $65,075
Texas 908,801 7.2% $241,005 13.1% $72,473 9.6% $79,746

(D): data not shown to avoid disclosure of confidential information.

Sources: JobsEQ, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

In 2019, most of the region’s manufacturing activity was centered in Bexar County (San Antonio), which accounted for 58.6 percent, 49.5 percent and 58.5 percent of the region’s manufacturing jobs, GDP and wages, respectively.

Manufacturing in the Alamo Region comprises a variety of industrial sectors, including these:

  • Caterpillar (Seguin) makes industrial engines and electric power generator sets used in defense, agriculture, transportation, power generation, construction, oil and gas.
  • Garrison Brothers Distillery (Hye), Texas’ first legal whiskey distillery, makes a “sweet mash” using 100 percent organic corn harvested from Texas farms in the Panhandle near Hereford, Dalhart and Muleshoe.
  • Heartland Enterprises (Fredericksburg) manufactures shafts, rods and other highly engineered parts for the oil and gas, aerospace and other industries.
  • Knight Aerospace (San Antonio) combines aerospace, military and medical technology to provide modules and pallets to expand the functionality of cargo aircraft.
  • Navistar International Corp. (San Antonio) manufactures commercial trucks, diesel engines and both school and commercial buses.

Long-Term Regional Trends

Between 2001 and 2019, manufacturing employment in the Alamo Region fell by 8.9 percent or 6,072 jobs. Manufacturing’s share of total regional employment decreased from 8.1 percent to 5.4 percent in this period (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: Manufacturing Employment and Manufacturing Share of Total Employment, 2001 to 2019, Alamo Region

Manufacturing Employment and Manufacturing Share of Total Employment, 2001 to 2019, Alamo Region
Year Total Industry Jobs Manufacturing Jobs Manufacturing Share of Total Industry Jobs
2001 844,051 68,575 8.1%
2002 842,206 63,126 7.5%
2003 843,570 60,959 7.2%
2004 851,411 58,393 6.9%
2005 873,872 58,419 6.7%
2006 906,817 61,141 6.7%
2007 929,588 62,107 6.7%
2008 947,544 59,424 6.3%
2009 927,456 54,635 5.9%
2010 934,403 55,430 5.9%
2011 951,308 57,280 6.0%
2012 975,925 58,652 6.0%
2013 1,004,389 57,706 5.7%
2014 1,038,546 57,943 5.6%
2015 1,070,670 58,718 5.5%
2016 1,095,159 58,636 5.4%
2017 1,115,873 59,437 5.3%
2018 1,137,675 61,401 5.4%
2019 1,157,671 62,503 5.4%

Sources: JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The region recovered some manufacturing jobs between 2009 and 2019, adding 7,868 jobs for a 14.4 percent increase. By comparison, Texas and U.S. manufacturing jobs rose by 8.0 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3: Percentage Change in Manufacturing Jobs, 2009 to 2019 (Indexed to 2009)

Total Manufacturing Jobs, 2009-2019 (Indexed to 2009)
Year Alamo Region Jobs Alamo Region Percent Change Texas Jobs Texas Percent Change USA Jobs USA Percent Change
2009 54,635 0.0% 841,353 0.0% 11,854,159 0.0%
2010 55,430 1.5% 814,265 -3.2% 11,532,264 -2.7%
2011 57,280 4.8% 840,195 -0.1% 11,748,311 -0.9%
2012 58,652 7.4% 867,771 3.1% 11,950,974 0.8%
2013 57,706 5.6% 877,534 4.3% 12,040,273 1.6%
2014 57,943 6.1% 890,468 5.8% 12,202,119 2.9%
2015 58,718 7.5% 881,291 4.7% 12,339,571 4.1%
2016 58,636 7.3% 848,235 0.8% 12,345,948 4.1%
2017 59,437 8.8% 854,385 1.5% 12,456,179 5.1%
2018 61,401 12.4% 882,339 4.9% 12,696,998 7.1%
2019 62,503 14.4% 908,801 8.0% 12,828,307 8.2%

Sources: JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Between 2009 and 2019, the Alamo Region added 80 manufacturing establishments, a 4.6 percent increase, compared to gains of 9.4 percent in Texas and 1.1 percent in the U.S. (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4: Total Manufacturing Establishments in Alamo Region, 2009 to 2019

Total Manufacturing Establishments in Alamo Region, 2009 to 2019
Year Alamo Region (total) Alamo Region Texas USA
2009 1,747 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
2010 1,719 -1.6% -1.4% -2.5%
2011 1,686 -3.5% -1.6% -4.0%
2012 1,693 -3.1% -1.9% -4.7%
2013 1,691 -3.2% -2.0% -4.7%
2014 1,697 -2.9% -1.4% -3.9%
2015 1,723 -1.4% 0.4% -3.0%
2016 1,728 -1.1% 1.7% -2.2%
2017 1,775 1.6% 3.8% -1.3%
2018 1,796 2.8% 5.7% 0.0%
2019 1,827 4.6% 9.4% 1.1%

Sources: JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The Alamo Region’s manufacturing jobs paid average wages of $65,075 in 2019, less than the Texas and U.S. averages of $79,746 and $69,976, respectively. Between 2009 and 2019, however, the region’s average wages rose by 45.1 percent, versus 32.0 percent in Texas and 27.4 percent in the U.S. (Exhibit 5).

Exhibit 5: Average Wages in Manufacturing Jobs, 2009 to 2019

Average Annual Wages, Manufacturing Jobs, 2009-2019
Year Alamo Region Texas USA
2009 $44,850 $60,401 $54,939
2010 $46,136 $63,310 $57,595
2011 $48,175 $66,075 $59,277
2012 $50,481 $68,491 $60,553
2013 $51,898 $68,838 $61,143
2014 $54,798 $71,171 $63,024
2015 $56,388 $72,815 $64,352
2016 $57,960 $73,125 $64,922
2017 $60,721 $75,806 $66,898
2018 $63,105 $77,647 $68,585
2019 $65,075 $79,746 $69,976

Sources: JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The manufacturing sector’s GDP value for the Alamo Region rose by an inflation-adjusted 118.3 percent between 2009 and 2019, for an average annual increase of 8.1 percent. The sector’s average annual GDP changes in Texas and the U.S., by comparison, were 2.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6: Percentage Change in Real Gross Domestic Product, Manufacturing, 2009 to 2019 (Indexed to 2009)

Percentage Change in Real Gross Domestic Product, Manufacturing, 2009 to 2019 (Indexed to 2009)
Year Alamo Region Texas USA
2009 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
2010 13.3% 10.8% 5.4%
2011 22.9% 15.0% 5.8%
2012 22.4% 10.9% 5.1%
2013 65.7% 23.3% 8.3%
2014 64.8% 11.3% 10.2%
2015 73.8% 15.0% 11.7%
2016 64.3% 11.7% 10.9%
2017 87.1% 18.2% 13.7%
2018 108.1% 24.4% 18.5%
2019 118.3% 29.7% 20.8%

Note: Due to GDP data withheld to avoid disclosure of confidential information, the analysis excludes the Alamo Region counties of Goliad and Jackson.  

Sources: U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Pandemic Effects

All Texas industry sectors have been affected by the pandemic to some degree, and manufacturing is no exception. Monthly jobs data show that manufacturing jobs in the Victoria metropolitan area fell by 100 (or 5.0 percent) in February 2021 compared to the previous year. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, however, saw a slight gain of 0.6 percent, or about 300 manufacturing jobs. The Alamo Region fared better than Texas and the U.S., which had manufacturing job losses of -6.0 percent and -4.1 percent, respectively, during the same period (Exhibit 7).

Exhibit 7: Changes in Manufacturing Jobs, February 2020 to February 2021

Metro Area Manufacturing Jobs Percent Change (Manufacturing) Percent Change (Total Employment)
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA 300 0.6% -3.3%
Victoria MSA -100 -5.0% -6.7%
Texas -54,200 -6.0% -4.6%
United States -524,000 -4.1% -6.0%

Source: Texas Workforce Commission
Note: Not seasonally adjusted

Key Manufacturing Industries

Manufacturing jobs in the Alamo Region rose by nearly 7,900, or 14.4 percent, between 2009 and 2019. Motor vehicle, body and parts manufacturing comprised the bulk of these gains, adding nearly 5,200 jobs (+110 percent). Other regional industry gains included machinery manufacturing (up 1,800 jobs, or 60 percent), nonmetallic mineral products (up 1,040 jobs, or 39 percent) and food manufacturing (up 913 jobs, or 10 percent). Employment in printing and related services incurred the heaviest losses, falling by 1,812 jobs, or 53 percent. The aerospace product and parts industry fell by about 800 jobs, or nearly 20 percent, during this period.

Two industries – food manufacturing and motor vehicle, body and parts manufacturing – accounted for nearly a third of the Alamo Region’s manufacturing jobs and total wages in 2019.
 
The interactive Exhibit 8 displays regional manufacturing industry strengths and weaknesses through the use of two common analytical tools that compare regional manufacturing employment trends to national averages. These tools serve as an educational resource to assess industry strengths and inform development prospects.

First, the location quotient (LQ) measures state and regional industry concentration levels by comparing an industry’s share of total regional employment to its share of total national employment. If the regional industry share exceeds the national share (an LQ greater than 1.00), the industry is more “concentrated” in the region than nationally. A score above 1.00 may indicate that the regional industry is strong and self-sufficient and that it exports its products or services beyond the region. Regional industries with below-average employment concentrations (LQs of less than 1.00) often import goods or services from other areas. The most heavily concentrated industries in the region are leather and allied products and chemical manufacturing, each with LQ values at nearly 2.0. (In other words, those industries’ shares of Alamo Region employment are nearly two times higher than the nationwide shares.)

A second tool, shift-share analysis (SSA), measures regional industry employment changes and assesses the role of local competitiveness on gains or losses. The SSA uses national employment and industry trends to produce expected employment changes for a regional industry. If a regional industry’s actual employment changes exceed expected changes (a positive local competitiveness effect), the region may have a productive advantage in the industry. Conversely, a negative competitiveness effect indicates that the industry fell short of expected employment changes. The manufacturing sector in the Alamo Region showed a positive competitive effect between 2009 and 2019, as sector employment exceeded expectations by more than 2,800 jobs. 

The manufacturing industries plotted in the exhibit fall into one of four quadrants based on 2019 LQ values and SSA values between 2009 and 2019:

  • Strong and growing: Industry has above-average concentration levels (2019 LQ value > 1.00) and industry job changes exceeded expected changes between 2009 and 2019 (positive competitiveness effect);
  • Strong but declining: Industry has above-average concentration levels (2019 LQ value > 1.00) and industry job changes fell below expected changes between 2009 and 2019 (negative competitiveness effect);
  • Weak but growing: Industry has below-average concentration levels (2019 LQ value < 1.00) and industry job changes exceeded expected changes between 2009 and 2019 (positive competitiveness effect); and
  • Weak and declining: Industry has below-average concentration levels (2019 LQ value < 1.00) and industry job changes fell below expected changes between 2009 and 2019 (negative competitiveness effect).

The region capitalized on many of its strengths, as several strong regional industries surpassed employment expectations between 2009 and 2019. These include chemical manufacturing, beverage products, motor vehicles and parts, nonmetallic mineral products and other miscellaneous manufacturing. Regional employment in aerospace products and parts, however, fell short of employment expectations by more than 1,000 jobs.

Employment concentrations for many of the region’s other manufacturing industries remain below national averages, yet several showed high degrees of competitiveness, including computer and electronic products, medical equipment and supplies, machinery manufacturing and wood products. The machinery manufacturing industry was one of the region’s most competitive, as employment exceeded expected gains by 1,557 jobs. Such developments could identify emerging industries and prospects for further industrial growth.

A note of caution: A positive competitive effect indicates that some economic advantages exist in a region, such as access to natural resources or to a more productive labor pool, management or technologies. The sources of those advantages, however, cannot be identified through SSA.

Exhibit 8: Manufacturing Industries in the Alamo Region, Concentration Levels and Competitiveness

Manufacturing Industries in the Alamo Region, Concentration Levels and Competitiveness
Industry Title NAICS Employment, 2019 Location Quotient, 2019 Employment Changes due to Local Competitiveness, 2009-2019
Food Manufacturing 311 10,072 0.78 -249
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing 312 2,403 1.05 142
Textile Mills 313 552 0.64 137
Textile Product Mills 314 287 0.32 -513
Apparel Manufacturing 315 278 0.32 124
Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing 316 388 1.78 -74
Wood Product Manufacturing 321 1,908 0.59 505
Paper Manufacturing 322 497 0.17 -130
Printing and Related Support Activities 323 1,621 0.48 -1,344
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing 324 450 0.50 212
Chemical Manufacturing (Resource-Intensive Commodities) 3251-3253 3,903 1.74 396
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing 3254 1,036 0.43 -105
Chemical Manufacturing (Locally Processed Goods) 3255-3259 452 0.22 -37
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing 326 2,762 0.48 -559
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing 327 3,732 1.13 835
Primary Metal Manufacturing 331 1,202 0.39 -492
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 332 4,407 0.37 -1,316
Machinery Manufacturing 333 4,789 0.54 1,557
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing 334 2,258 0.27 1,063
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing 335 833 0.26 220
Motor Vehicle, Body, and Parts Manufacturing 3361-3363 9,907 1.25 3,054
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing 3364 3,320 0.78 -1,064
Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing 3365-3369 111 0.06 -60
Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing 337 1,343 0.44 -649
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing 3391 1,363 0.53 273
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 3399 2,628 1.14 879
Total - Manufacturing 62,503 0.61 2,807

Sources: JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Summary

The Alamo Region is a microcosm of the state, both urban and rural, with a vibrant and diverse economy. Bexar County, with the city of San Antonio at its center, is the region’s economic hub.

Over the past decade, manufacturing job growth in the Alamo Region has outpaced that of both the state and the U.S. It benefits from a variety of robust manufacturing industries that have helped it withstand both the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the region’s economy continues to thrive.