CNBC Rankings: Texas 'Miracle Economy' Beginning to Sour

U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.3 Percent, Lowest Level In 16 Years

U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.3 Percent, Lowest Level In 16 Years

The so called 'Texas Miracle,' which propelled the Texas Economy to enviable heights throughout the Great Recession and strongly fueled the Republican Party and its claims that low taxes and regulations breeds economic success, appears to have faded, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

CNBC, in its annual ranking of the best states for business, puts Texas fourth this year, the first time in eleven years Texas has not been either number one or number two.

All fifty states were ranked using numerous independent indexes, from the Cost of Doing Business, Technology and Innovation, Education, Access to Capital, and Cost of Living.

CNBC analyst Scott Cohn says there are a number of factors for the state's fading economy.

He says the state's ranking in the category of Economy is falling due to the loss of jobs in the energy industry following the crash of oil prices two years ago.

This is the first time this century that the Texas unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

He says something else that is hurting the state's economy is our low ranking in Quality of Life.  He says Texas ranks 37th, the lowest we rank in any of CNBC's categories.

"Crime rates are high, air quality is low, and with no statewide protections against discrimination, Texas is one of the least inclusive states in the nation," he said.

In fact, Cohn says the discussion of a bill to limit transgender restroom use is resounding more loudly among businesses nationwide than many conservatives want to admit.

"States that don't have these statewide discrimination protections suffer in our study, because that's what business is telling us," he said.

Cohn says Texas is also starting to show the impacts of continuing high property taxes. 

 He says not having a state individual and corporate income tax is clearly a plus, but property taxes have risen so much, especially as property values have risen, it is starting to cut into the state's economic advantage.  Texas still ranks number one in the nation in terms of two key categories, infrastructure, meaning our roads, ports, and railroad system, and workforce.

Other high rankings include access to capital, and Texas is rising in the category of Technology and Innovation, although we are still in the lower half when it comes to Education.

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