West South Central Regional Forecast

Arkansas • Louisiana • Oklahoma • Texas

Although the region's oil and energy industries were hit hard in the recession, compared to some other regions of the United States, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and Texas weathered the economic storm fairly well. As home to several of the homebuilding industry's hot spots during the go-go years, Texas' residential market took a tumble with the rest of the nation. But the largest markets in the state for home-builders — Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — never crashed as deeply as other boom markets and don't have as far to climb back to respectability. Office vacancy rates are still high in Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio but Houston's office vacancy rate is just 11.9% through 3Q 2009. Texas has several large hospital and industrial projects underway, and in Arkansas' Ozarks and in neighboring Missouri, there's some big electrical projects on the books at the Bull Shoals and Norfork Dams, Mountain Home, Ark.; and Table Rock Dam, Branson, Mo., courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers and funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual Electricians in thousands
M G C
West South Central 69,770 1,143 2,617.2 8,609.4
Arkansas 4,750 163.6 204.6 625.5
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 800 30.1 25 113.8
Fort Smith, AR-OK 370 22.8 17.3 62.2
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 1,330 23.2 66.3 200.6
Louisiana 11,070 NA 361.3 1,066.6
Alexandria, LA 150 NA 15.3 7.9
Baton Rouge, LA 2,580 24.9 75.2 201.7
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA 540 NA 13.5 18.5
Lafayette, LA 750 9.6 17.1 73.1
Lake Charles, LA 730 9.1 15.9 29.5
Monroe, LA 340 5.9 14.9 37.1
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 3,380 35.5 82.3 314.3
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 890 10.2 34.7 105.6
0
Oklahoma 7,030 135 312 862.3
Lawton, OK 160 3.3 13.1 22.4
Oklahoma City, OK 2,910 35.6 110.5 333.9
Tulsa, OK 2,270 47.4 50.5 255.5
0
Texas 46,920 844.4 1,739.3 6,055
Abilene, TX 330 3 12.5 41.4
Amarillo, TX 420 12.2 19.2 62.6
Austin-Round Rock, TX NA 51.8 160 459.1
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 1,410 21.2 22.8 84.2
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 390 6.4 28.4 77.8
College Station-Bryan, TX 480 5 30.2 43.4
Corpus Christi, TX 1,680 10.2 30.3 105
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 10,850 273.1 370.2 1,795.3
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division 6,340 184.5 258.1 1,310.5
El Paso, TX 650 17.6 63.9 152.5
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division 4,510 88.6 112.1 484.8
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 15,570 228.5 349.8 1,423.1
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 520 7.7 34.4 69.9
Laredo, TX 230 1.1 21.4 47.5
Longview, TX 410 12.5 11.3 50.7
Lubbock, TX 300 4.7 28 80.1
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 420 6.3 52.5 134.7
Midland, TX 280 2.7 8.4 37.3
Odessa, TX 430 4.2 8.8 29.9
San Angelo, TX 150 3.6 7.8 26.9
San Antonio, TX 3,660 42.8 148.9 547.6
Sherman-Denison, TX 240 5.2 6.5 26
Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR 230 4.4 13.4 31.1
Tyler, TX 270 7.9 11.5 61.8
Victoria, TX NA 5.3 8.8 25.9
Waco, TX 340 14.4 17.5 61
Wichita Falls, TX 140 7 12.4 32.8