South Texas Economic Development Center
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi College of Business
College of Business - A View from the Courtyard
The Island University - TAMUCC
Regional Economic Snapshot
This article summarizes the findings of the Distressed Communities Index for Corpus Christi. While the Index for the metro area as a whole is relatively low, indicating a relatively high living standard locally, the scores vary vastly across its counties and zip codes. Geographic disparities in economic prosperity affect long-term community development as well as individuals' lifetime economic success. This article is part of the series that focuses on economic disparities in South Texas. This article is available on the digital platform.
Statistical evidence indicates that underutilization of local Hispanic and women-owned businesses is pervasive and entrenched in Corpus Christi. The disparity gaps for those businesses are the outcomes of their rapid growth in number but not in size, measured by sales or employment. This highlights the importance of developing existing local businesses as opposed to creating more new businesses. An expanded version is available on the digital platform.
This article takes an inside look at South Texas's labor market by breaking down the unemployed workforce by industry and education level. The unemployment rate is remarkably higher in mining and construction, and lower in the service sector. Those without previous work experience make up the largest category of unemployment, and the majority of job seekers are least educated or without a college education.
This article provides an overview of various rankings for Corpus Christi in comparison with other U.S. cities. With extraordinary employment and income growth in recent years, Corpus Christi was ranked among the top 10 cities by WalletHub for overall growth, job opportunities, and business climate. Judged by various aspects of the quality of life, including environmental quality, active lifestyle and education, then the local area pales by comparison. Today Corpus Christi is best known as a city with lots of work and little fun.
Historically, the economic conditions of local communities within the Corpus Christi metro area tended to move in lockstep over time. During the past year, even though employment growth was quite evenly spread across the region, some local economies began to diverge, reflecting the direct impact of construction activities in various large-scale industrial sites on their surrounding businesses. This results in a shift of economic gravity from the south side of Corpus Christi Bay toward its north side.
While oil and natural gas production in South Texas has been a main source of recent employment and income growth for Corpus Christi, industries in advanced manufacturing have emerged as the leaders in driving local GDP growth. Advanced manufacturing industries, which involve high levels of technology and workforce skills, are key to the region's future economic growth.
A new study found that extraction of gas wells brought greater local economic impacts than oil wells during the shale oil boom period. The positive effect of low natural gas prices on the average production rate of gas wells is now being felt in oil production in the aftermath of a recent collapse in the world oil markets. The current survival of the fittest phenomenon tends to be more consistent with sustainable economic development in South Texas.
Health care is the largest private-sector employer in Corpus Christi. Expansion in health care facilities reflects local population trends. Despite employment growth among health care professionals, the increases of physicians in different specialties have lagged behind the rest of the nation. Those gaps post a challenge particularly in accommodating the medical needs of the rapidly growing old age population in South Texas.
Hispanics make up 60 percent of the Corpus Christi population, and nearly half of the local workforce is female. Despite their increasingly significant roles in the regional economy, these minority groups have continued to fall behind in income earnings. Higher education explains much economic disparity among various demographic groups, but schooling is far from providing a level playing field, highlighting the complexity of this deeply rooted socioeconomic issue.
Texas and the state's major cities have been ranked the best in friendliness toward small businesses. Training opportunities and ease of regulatory compliance are key factors for entrepreneurs' perceptions of the business environment. Local small business climate is key to job creation. The patterns of local business growth reflect population and income growth.
The A&M System approved the establishment of the South Texas Economic Development Center on September 3, 2014.