Broad-Based Growth Continues in San Antonio

With the exception of the information sector, growth continues across all other sectors of the San Antonio economy through June of this year. The growth is lead by large increases in the construction, mining, and natural resources sector (just indicated as construction/mining in the chart) and the education and health sector. I suspect most of the employment gains in the former sector has probably come from the construction industry, but with the recovery of oil prices and activity beginning to pick-up in the Eagle Ford Shale area, the mining and natural resources industries have likely contributed their parts as well.

Growth in the education and health sector is probably driven by the continued strong expansion in the healthcare industry in San Antonio. Professional and business services (indicated as prof. services in the chart) has also shown some nice increases in employment growth this year.

The question is whether or not these sectors will continue to show strong growth.

As long as the economy keeps humming along, the construction industry is probably going to continue to grow, but there are indications that the economy is reaching capacity (as noted in my previous post) and housing prices are starting to move beyond the level of affordability for many folks.

Regarding the mining and natural resources industry growth, this is going to be driven, in part, by what oil prices do. I do not think anybody really knows where oil prices are headed over the next few years, but I think the experts feel like there will be some increase.

It seems to be a safe bet that the healthcare industry will continue to grow. However, many of the healthcare organizations in San Antonio receive a large portion of their revenues from federal government sources, so the wild card is what ultimately happens with healthcare policy and the federal budget. That may be more difficult to predict than oil prices.

Employment Growth by Industry San Antonio June 2017

NOTE: TTU is the trade, transportation, and utilities sector.

 

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Steve

SRN-LogoMark-Gold-HIRES

 

 

2 thoughts on “Broad-Based Growth Continues in San Antonio

  1. Hello Dr. Nivin,

    What is the information sector? Trying to figure what type of employment falls in that category.

    Thanks,

    William

    • Hi William,

      Great question. Thanks for asking. The following is from the U.S. Census website and gives the formal definition. I would have just posted the link, but it does not show as you move through their site to this area. If you want to look at it in more detail, got to http://www.census.gov, scroll to the bottom of their home page, click on NAICS, and then click on 2017 NAICS under Reference Files. It will pull up all the NAICS categories.

      “The Information sector comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data.

      The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, including software publishing, and both traditional publishing and publishing exclusively on the Internet; the motion picture and sound recording industries; the broadcasting industries, including traditional broadcasting and broadcasting exclusively over the Internet; the telecommunications industries; and Web search portals, data processing industries, and the information services industries.

      The expressions ”information age” and ”global information economy” are used with considerable frequency today. The general idea of an ”information economy” includes both the notion of industries primarily producing, processing, and distributing information, as well as the idea that every industry is using available information and information technology to reorganize and make themselves more productive. For the purposes of NAICS, it is the transformation of information into a commodity that is produced and distributed by a number of growing industries that is at issue.

      Cultural products are those that directly express attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, and artistic creativity; provide entertainment; or offer information and analysis concerning the past and present. Included in this definition are popular, mass-produced products as well as cultural products that normally have a more limited audience, such as poetry books, literary magazines, or classical records.

      The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish the Information sector from the goods-producing and service-producing sectors. Some of these characteristics are:

      1. Unlike traditional goods, an ”information or cultural product,” such as an on-line newspaper or a television program, does not necessarily have tangible qualities, nor is it necessarily associated with a particular form. A movie can be shown at a movie theater, on a television broadcast, through video-on-demand or rented at a local video store. A sound recording can be aired on radio, embedded in multimedia products, or sold at a record store.

      2. Unlike traditional services, the delivery of these products does not require direct contact between the supplier and the consumer.

      3. The value of these products to the consumer lies in their informational, educational, cultural, or entertainment content, not in the format in which they are distributed. Most of these products are protected from unlawful reproduction by copyright laws.

      4. The intangible property aspect of information and cultural products makes the processes involved in their production and distribution very different from goods and services. Only those possessing the rights to these works are authorized to reproduce, alter, improve, and distribute them. Acquiring and using these rights often involves significant costs. In addition, technology is revolutionizing the distribution of these products. It is possible to distribute them in a physical form, via broadcast, or on-line.

      5. Distributors of information and cultural products can easily add value to the products they distribute. For instance, broadcasters add advertising not contained in the original product. This capacity means that unlike traditional distributors, they derive revenue not from sale of the distributed product to the final consumer, but from those who pay for the privilege of adding information to the original product. Similarly, a directory and mailing list publisher can acquire the rights to thousands of previously published newspaper and periodical articles and add new value by providing search and software and organizing the information in a way that facilitates research and retrieval. These products often command a much higher price than the original information.

      The distribution modes for information commodities may either eliminate the necessity for traditional manufacture, or reverse the conventional order of manufacture-distribute: A newspaper distributed on-line, for example, can be printed locally or by the final consumer. Similarly, packaged software is available mainly on-line. The NAICS Information sector is designed to make such economic changes transparent as they occur, or to facilitate designing surveys that will monitor the new phenomena and provide data to analyze the changes.

      Many of the industries in the NAICS Information sector are engaged in producing products protected by copyright law, or in distributing them (other than distribution by traditional wholesale and retail methods). Examples are traditional publishing industries, software and directory and mailing list publishing industries, and film and sound industries. Broadcasting and telecommunications industries and information providers and processors are also included in the Information sector, because their technologies are so closely linked to other industries in the Information sector.”

      Steve

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