Find a back issue

Dallas Keeps Exporting Jobs to the Suburbs

You don't want to be, like Dallas, in the bottom left corner.
You don’t want to be, like Dallas, in the bottom left corner.

You’re wondering about the chart above. I didn’t create it. That was our old pal Patrick Kennedy, and yes, we may have mentioned him before.

You can skip right over to Kennedy’s blog if you want the detailed explanation of how he put this thing together, but if you stick with me I’ll just give you the most easily digestible bits. Beginning with this:

Dallas County, the most populous county in the fourth-most populous metropolitan region in the United States—a metropolitan region that saw population growth of 1.2 million people between 2001 and 2011—is losing jobs.

Maybe you already knew that Dallas County dropped 266,00o in that 10-year period. What you probably didn’t know is how that compares to the country’s other most populous counties. Short answer: Poorly. Longer answer:

As I’ve pointed out before, all of the other DFW area counties experienced job growth (as well as huge population growth).  The area gained 1.2 million people during this period, but Dallas County lost a near Detroit level of jobs.  Meanwhile, the suburban counties (who the cities compete with more than other cities, it’s worth noting) gained huge amounts of job numbers.  Parker County went up 62.33%.  Rockwall went up 70.63%.  Denton up 47.07%.  And last, but certainly not least Collin County (where Toyota is relocating to) gained 46.68%.

In terms of wages, Dallas County grew by 1.63%, which is at least upward.  However, it’s still well below the national average, even further below the urbanized county average, and ranks 6th to last of all urbanized counties in wage growth.  This is why I interpret the above chart to showDallas County as the 2nd worst performing urbanized county in the U.S. with Jackson County (KC) close behind.  DeKalb is up there too (lost 22.17% of jobs but gained 2.38% in wages), but as it only represents half of ATL, Fulton County’s positive performance ameliorates the bad.  Overall, Fulton/DeKalb gained significantly in average wages (7.32%).

Let’s revisit that list:  Detroit, Dallas, Kansas City, and (half of) Atlanta.  Those are all areas with extremely high highway lane miles per capita.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So, yes, this is another post about how highways have hurt Dallas. This might not concern you, if you figure that Dallas’ demise merely opens the door for Frisco to continue its epic rise to becoming one of the world’s great cities.