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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


This analysis predates the COVID-19 crisis and the economic impacts that followed. It is offered as an overview of the Southeast regional economy and a resource for comparative purposes.

Regional Snapshot

Southeast Region

The 15-county Southeast region covers about 12,800 square miles in easternmost Texas, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Nacogdoches along the Texas-Louisiana border.

The region contains one metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA, comprising Hardin, Jefferson, Newton and Orange counties.

Southeast Region Counties:

  • Angelina
  • Hardin
  • Houston
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson
  • Nacogdoches
  • Newton
  • Orange
  • Polk
  • Sabine
  • San Augustine
  • San Jacinto
  • Shelby
  • Trinity
  • Tyler

Top 10 Industries by Location Quotient

  1. Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
  2. Forestry and Logging
  3. Pipeline Transportation
  4. Wood Product Manufacturing
  5. Chemical Manufacturing
  6. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
  7. Support Activities for Mining
  8. Construction of Buildings
  9. Justice, Public Order and Safety Activities
  10. Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

Source: JobsEQ®

Population Growth

Southeast Region VS. TEXAS AND U.S., 2010-2019




Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 2019, the Southeast region’s estimated total population was about 780,000, or nearly 3 percent of the state’s total population. That marked an increase of 1.3 percent (about 10,000 residents) since the 2010 Census.


Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Southeast Region

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Southeast Region
Educational Attainment Number Employed, Region Average Annual Earnings, Region
Less than High School 40,454 $36,893
High School or Equivalent, No College 69,825 $40,911
Some College or Associate Degree 75,084 $45,011
Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree 45,682 $59,399
Educational Attainment Unavailable 32,969 $21,455
Total 264,013 $42,936

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ

Southeast region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earn an average of $4,100 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $18,500 more.


From 2009 to 2019, the Southeast region’s employment rose by about 1 percent, much lower than the state’s total job growth rate. In 2019, the region accounted for more than 2 percent of the state’s total employment.

The Southeast region’s most significant occupations are shown below, sorted by numerical growth during the last five years.

Employment Growth, Southeast Region vs. Texas and U.S., 2009 to 2019

Note: Figures include private and public sector employees with the exception of active-duty military personnel, railroad employees, religious institution employees and the self-employed.

Sources: JobsEQ and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019

Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages
Other Personal Care and Service Workers 9,422 $19,900
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 15,480 $19,900
Construction Trades Workers 16,691 $43,700
Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers 6,542 $23,900
Top Executives 4,476 $106,100

Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in
Source: JobsEQ

Regional Economy

In 2019, taxable sales directly attributable to businesses in the region exceeded $8 billion, contributing about 1.4 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales.

Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax

Southeast Region, Taxable Sales, 2007-2019
Year Revenue Southeast Region
2007 6.5 billion dollars
2008 7.0 billion dollars
2009 6.5 billion dollars
2010 6.4 billion dollars
2011 6.6 billion dollars
2012 6.9 billion dollars
2013 7.1 billion dollars
2014 7.3 billion dollars
2015 7.3 billion dollars
2016 7.2 billion dollars
2017 7.4 billion dollars
2018 8.0 billion dollars
2019 8.0 billion dollars

Note: Numbers shown are for reported revenue subject to sales tax and directly attributed to the region.
Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


The Southeast region and its 15 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. The region has seen limited population growth since 2010.

The Southeast region took longer than most Texas regions to recover from the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Economic trends have moved upward since then, with taxable sales continuing to rise in 2019. The region saw slower employment growth than the state as a whole in the last decade. The diversity of its industries, including chemical and petroleum products production and forestry services, adds to the strength of the region’s economy.

The Southeast Region is one of the Comptroller’s 12 economic regions.

View a complete list of these regions, plus more in-depth county-by-county data.

Glenn Hegar

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.