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The Place to Be: A Look at Companies Moving to Texas in 2017

See our updated list for 2019 here.

When it comes to job creation, Texas is the place to be in 2017. Austin was recently named the best city for job seekers in 2017 by NerdWallet while Texas has remained the leading state when it comes to job creation since 2007, adding more than 1.8 million jobs. There are more and more companies moving to Texas, which can be a mixed bag of news for current Texas employers.

“Overall, broad indicators of the Texas economy continue to point toward moderate growth in the months ahead,” says Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “With the stabilization of the energy sector and some recent improvement in the manufacturing sector, the Texas economy is on solid ground and will likely improve moderately in 2017.”

Dallas/Fort Worth and the Toyota Effect

Multiple corporations like Liberty Mutual and State Farm are relocating to Collin County, north of Dallas. Not far away in Forth Worth, Facebook is building a sprawling new data center. Toyota, specifically, is in the process of moving approximately 4,000 jobs from its former headquarters in California to Plano over the next couple of years.  Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of that move is the sheer number of current employees who want to move with the company to Texas. According to Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz, up to 75 percent of the company’s 4,000 employees may relocate to Plano.

While this may not be good news for job seekers, it offers an interesting prospect for other area employers. With these relocated employees comes new business opportunities as well as potential new talent in the way of “trailing spouses.” In other words, many of the relocated employees are bringing with them other potential top talent who are likely seeking jobs.

Austin via California

Like Toyota, many other large corporations are building new headquarters in Texas and relocating many employees in the process. Perhaps the most notable hub for this activity remains Austin, which continues to lure Silicon Valley and other California companies to its vibrant business and tech scene. In fact, nearly two dozen Silicon Valley tech companies reportedly relocated to Texas or opened offices here since 2014.  Google, Apple, Amazon, Dropbox and Oracle all recently built or expanded major campuses in Austin. The trend has been a fascinating one to watch, points out the San Antonio Express-News:

“Between 1997 and 2000, during the peak of the dotcom boom, the Bay Area was a net importer of Texans: About 1,500 more households moved into the region from Texas than vice versa…

 The trend changed in the early 2000s, and Texas has been a net importer of Bay Area households since. Between 2009 and 2012, as the recession was winding down and a second tech boom was revving up, the Bay Area lost about 1,430 households to Texas and nearly $390 million in taxable income.”

Last year, states the newspaper, at least three dozen companies either expanded from or moved out of Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties with 10 of them to Texas.

Food Distribution, Manufacturing and Other Industries

Food distribution is becoming a growing industry in Texas; with Pegasus Foods bringing a new manufacturing plant to Rockwall and Duke Food Productions opening a facility in Bonham. And, just like its tech company neighbors, Silicon Valley-born Jamba Juice is moving its headquarters to Frisco.

Don’t assume Houston and Southeast Texas are exceptions to this influx of out-of-staters, either. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is moving its headquarters from New York to Houston. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, about 250 new companies have set up shop in the city since 2015 with 1 in 5 being foreign companies like Mitsubishi.

For the Houston area, the partnership forecasts continued job losses in energy exploration and production as well as oil field services and construction. However, it predicts job growth in manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, finance and insurance, real estate, business, professional and technical services, educational services, health care and administrative services.

When business is booming in Texas, we all benefit. It simply depends on how you react to the changes. Newly relocated employees can bring with them hidden opportunities for talent acquisition. Be on the lookout this year for those opportunities—they’re hiding everywhere.


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