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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

economy

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

Regional Snapshot

West Texas Region


The 30-county West Texas region covers about 39,800 square miles in western Texas, stretching from the cities of Mason and Brady on the east to the Rio Grande just south of Dryden and north to the city of Seminole.

The region contains three metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the Midland MSA, comprising Martin and Midland counties; the Odessa MSA, comprising Ector County; and the San Angelo MSA, made up of Irion and Tom Green counties.

WEST TEXAS Region Counties:

  • Andrews
  • Borden
  • Coke
  • Concho
  • Crane
  • Crockett
  • Dawson
  • Ector
  • Gaines
  • Glasscock
  • Howard
  • Irion
  • Kimble
  • Loving
  • Martin
  • Mason
  • Mcculloch
  • Menard
  • Midland
  • Pecos
  • Reagan
  • Reeves
  • Schleicher
  • Sterling
  • Sutton
  • Terrell
  • Tom Green
  • Upton
  • Ward
  • Winkler

Top 10 Industries by Location Quotient

  1. Support Activities for Mining
  2. Oil and Gas Extraction
  3. Pipeline Transportation
  4. Heavy and Civil
    Engineering Construction
  5. Mining (Except Oil and Gas)
  6. Rental and Leasing Services
  7. Truck Transportation
  8. Gasoline Stations
  9. Fishing, Hunting and Trapping
  10. Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (Except Copyrighted Works)

Source: JobsEQ®


Population Growth

WEST TEXAS REGION VS. TEXAS AND U.S., 2010-2019

Region
15.8%

U.S.
6.3%

Texas
15.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 2019, the West Texas region’s estimated total population was 662,439, or about 2.3 percent of the state’s total population. That marked an increase of 15.8 percent (more than 90,000 people) since the 2010 Census.

Education

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, West Texas Region

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, West Texas Region
Educational Attainment Number Employed, Region Average Annual Earnings, Region
Less than High School 58,851 $46,649
High School or Equivalent, No College 72,493 $54,196
Some College or Associate Degree 76,276 $57,527
Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree 39,251 $72,517
Educational Attainment Unavailable 36,963 $30,065
Total 283,835 $54,379

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ

West Texas region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earned an average of $3,331 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $18,321 more.

JOBS & WAGES

From 2009 to 2019, the West Texas region’s employment rose by almost 36 percent, far exceeding employment growth in the state as a whole. In 2019, it accounted for about 2.5 percent of the state’s total employment.

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

Employment Growth, West Texas 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 West Texas Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019

Top Occupations in the West Texas Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages
Construction Trades Workers 19,761 $42,600
Motor Vehicle Operators 16,432 $43,500
Extraction Workers 19,185 $45,700
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 16,717 $21,300
Material Moving Workers 11,566 $37,100

Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.
Source: JobsEQ

Regional Economy

In 2019, taxable sales directly attributable to businesses in the region approached $21 billion, contributing about 3.7 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales.

Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax

West Texas, Taxable Sales, 2007-2019
Year Revenue West Texas Region
2007 8.0 billion dollars
2008 9.4 billion dollars
2009 7.1 billion dollars
2010 8.4 billion dollars
2011 11.0 billion dollars
2012 13.5 billion dollars
2013 14.4 billion dollars
2014 17.7 billion dollars
2015 13.5 billion dollars
2016 11.1 billion dollars
2017 15.2 billion dollars
2018 20.3 billion dollars
2019 20.7 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

Summary

The West Texas region and its 30 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. Midland County, with Midland at its center, and Ector County, anchored by Odessa, are the region’s economic centers.

In the past decade, the region had the state’s most volatile regional economy. It saw significant job growth; the Midland MSA’s employment growth nearly tripled that of the state as a whole. If the region were a state, it would have the nation’s fifth-highest per capita income. Its high concentration of industries revolving primarily around the extraction and transportation of oil and gas differentiates the West Texas region from others in Texas.

The West Texas 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


Questions?

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

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