Report: Dallas tops nation for office, job growth

Dallas-Fort Worth held the top job growth market in the U.S. in 2019, with an employment gain of more than 120,000 jobs during the year ending in November, the commercial real estate firm CBRE reports.

Dallas-Fort Worth office growth topped all other cities in the U.S. in 2019, CBRE’s most recently published forecast notes. Last year, expanding and relocating office tenants net-leased about 3.5 million square feet of office space – one of the best totals in a decade, according to the report.

“U.S. office-using employment is widely expected to grow again in 2020, albeit at a slower pace than in 2019,” the report found. It notes that global centers of technology in San Francisco, business-friendly Texas, and high-growth southeast metros are “expected to be the top markets for office-using jobs growth in 2020.”

Office jobs in the Dallas area grew 5.7 percent in 2019 – more than that of San Francisco’s and Seattle’s, CBRE found. The Dallas area continues to look strong through 2020 with forecast growth of 2.1 percent.

The “Big D” also outpaced Houston and Charlotte, N.C., two other fast-growing economies, in year-over-year office job gains, the report found.

“Dallas is appealing to a diverse population, from recent college graduates to C-suite executives, because of the quality of life, strength of our workforce, cost of living and central location,” Chelby Sanders, CBRE senior vice president, said in a statement.

“A comment we often hear from companies when visiting from out of state is, ‘Wow, I had no idea Dallas was this cool’,” Sanders adds.

Of the top five job growth markets in the U.S., Texas accounts for three.

Austin tops the list with projected job growth of 2.6 percent in 2020, San Francisco ranked second with 2.5 percent projected growth, Dallas ranked third, with 2.1 projected growth, followed by Houston’s 1.9 percent and Orlando’s 1.7 percent.

CBRE Econometric Advisors identified which markets are expected to generate the largest percentage growth in office-using jobs including tech, professional and business services, legal and others.

CBRE found that “job growth in tech markets continues to defy high costs and tight labor supplies.”

Austin, Dallas and Houston are expected to add more office jobs in 2020. In North Texas, office developers are currently constructing more than 5.5 million square feet of buildings.

“Tech, talent and low taxes continue to fuel Texas’s rising status as an inevitable, leading force in the U.S. economy,” Ian Anderson, CBRE Americas head of office research, said in the report. “2020 will be another year where companies and people from around the country relocate to the Lone Star State, leaving most of the rest of the country in envy of the growth in Dallas, Houston and Austin.”

Texas’ business-friendly environment is credited for its strong performance.

“Texas is the fastest growing economy in the United States,” Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News after President Donald Trump addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We want businesses to come to the state of Texas. We want fewer regulations, lower taxes. We want to make it easy for businesses to be able to succeed, because we understand something in Texas that it seems like some other states do not. That is, when your business succeeds in Texas, we, as a state, succeed.”

In November, the new Uber Technologies hub broke ground in Dallas, which is projected to generate 3,000 new jobs and create more than $75 million in capital investment. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $24 million was extended to Uber in August 2019, according to the governor’s office.

“Through the investments made by companies like Uber, Texas continues to flourish as a hub of innovation, technological advancement, and economic prosperity,” Abbott said. “I am proud to welcome Uber to Dallas and I am grateful for the vital role they are playing in the Texas success story.”

This article was first published by The Center Square.

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