‘Work as a region’ says renowned economist to Nacogdoches economic developers

‘Work as a region’ says renowned economist to Nacogdoches economic developers
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:43 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The economic impact of omicron, worker shortages, and inflation were addressed by expert economist Dr. Ray Perryman in Nacogdoches.

Perryman, is called “a genius” by the Wall Street Journal and ‘the most quoted man in Texas’ by Texas Monthly.

“There are three things that drive the economy,” says the Waco economist living in Odessa. He lists technology, trade patterns and demographics.

The economic researcher says the current state of affairs can’t be solely blamed on the pandemic, in particular the worker shortage.

“A little bit of it is a pandemic problem. The bigger piece of it is we’re just not growing our population very much anymore.”

Perryman Group’s latest forecast indicates statewide growth over the next five years, but at a slower rate in Deep East Texas.

“Texas is going to grow a little over 4% a year. We think this area is going to grow about 3.9% a year in output. That’s a little faster than U.S., a little slower than Texas,” said the economist who joked he dreams numbers making them somewhat of a curse.

In Taylor, just three hours away, Samsung plans a $17 billion chip plant. NEDCO members wonder can Deep East Texas ever be so lucky.

“I think the most important thing in that regard that you can do is number one, be a nice place to live. Probably the single most critical thing is, educate your workforce. If you can create an environment where they can be confident they have workers, they’ll come here.”

Perryman stresses the importance of long-range sustainability. His model to achieve it in Deep East Texas is the only place to have rivalry is Friday Night football.

“It’s absolutely essential that you work as a region. It’s absolutely essential that you do not view yourselves as silos in the middle of this place.”

He adds, the accomplishment is the ability to market a bigger workforce, something essential for economic growth.

Dr. Perryman is confident the U.S. and Texas will recover from inflation and supply shortages as illustrated historically. You can catch all of Dr. Perryman’s interview further in this story.

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