AQUA BOOK 2014 II - Page 13

B ecause specialization can potentially bolster a region’s economic growth, the concept of industry clusters has gained popularity among regional development policy makers. According to the Texas Workforce Commission (2005), an industry cluster is “a concentration of businesses and industries in a geographic region that are interconnected by the markets they serve, the products they produce, and so on.” In some cases, an industry cluster is equivalent to an industry or broad economic sector. In other cases, it is a mix of businesses in different industry but linked by similar customers, suppliers or workforce. The location quotient and shift-share data suggest that the Coastal Bend economy is driven by the following five private industry clusters: oil and gas, construction, industrial manufacturing, health care, and hospitality. All but industrial manufacturing are major regional industries in terms of employment. Industrial manufacturing, on the other hand, is currently relatively small by employment but it is projected to be the fastest growing sector in the region as a result of a large number of industrial plants under development or expansion. Along with major expansion of nearly all existing oil and gas refinery facilities, an unprecedented number of largescale industrial sites are under construction in Corpus Christi, including steel plants by TPCO and Voestalpine, petrochemical plants by M&G Group, Cheniere Energy, and Trafigura. Those facilities are expected to be fully developed by 2018, substantially boosting the size of the manufacturing sector. statistical patterns are apparently similar. In particular, their shares of industrial manufacturing employment in 2013 remained below the state or national benchmark, but they are expected to increase significantly through 2018. Nevertheless, industrial manufacturing has already been playing a significant role in San Patricio County. With much of industrial activity located along the north side of Corpus Christi Bay, San Patricio County has the highest concentration of industrial manufacturing employment. Oil and Gas Employment One Size Fits All While those five industry clusters are representative of the Coastal Bend as a whole, do they also capture the economic landscape of the region’s 12 individual counties? The accompanying table shows employment in each of the five clusters as a share of county employment. For comparison, the bottom two rows show the corresponding statistics for Texas and the U.S. Above the state and national benchmarks are data for Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend as a whole. The shaded areas highlight the county employment shares of the specific industry clusters that are relatively higher than those for the state and the nation. INDU STRY CLU In comparison with the state and the U.S. as a whole, the share of oil and gas employment is relative higher among all Coastal Bend counties except Kleberg. Employment in the health care cluster is relatively more concentrated in five of the 12 counties. Four counties, namely Duval, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio, have a relatively high concentration in construction employment. Reflecting the dominant role of tourism in the Corpus Christi metro area, all its three counties have relatively high employment in hospitality, which includes accommodation, eating and drinking places, and recreational and entertainment facilities. Given that the Corpus Christi metro area accounts for more than two-thirds (76%) of all jobs in the Coastal Bend, their STERS The table shows that the employment share of the five industry clusters combined is around 50 percent for the majority of the Coastal Bend counties. Those employment shares are about 15 percent larger than the nationwide average. In particular, the oil and gas sector dominates employment in most counties. The health care sector also appears to be a major employer among many communities in the Coastal Bend. The concentration of oil and gas related employment also explains the exceptionally greater impact of the current shale oil boom on communities in the Coastal Bend than in other regions. Employment Shares by Industry Clusters, 2013 Oil & Gas Aransas Bee Brooks Duval Jim Wells Kenedy Kleberg Live Oak McMullen Nueces Refugio San Patricio Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Texas U.S. Construction Industrial Manufacturing Health Care Hospitality Total Share 7.1% 8.3% 10.7% 21.2% 25.9% 48.1% 3.1% 30.5% 32.6% 4.9% 18.7% 6.4% 5.1% 7.9% 3.7% 1.6% 5.5% 2.8% 3.5% 13.9% 2.1% 0.0% 2.8% 3.2% 0.0% 9.0% 8.1% 18.3% 9.8% 8.3% 5.6% 4.3% 0.7% 1.7% 0.3% 0.6% 2.7% 0.0% 1.4% 5.2% 0.0% 3.7% 0.6% 8.0% 4.0% 3.5% 6.0% 6.9% 8.1% 13.1% 12.5% 5.5% 18.6% 1.7% 16.8% 3.7% 2.1% 15.6% 6.3% 6.6% 14.5% 14.4% 10.6% 11.7% 22.9% 10.7% 11.4% 3.6% 8.0% 7.7% 11.1% 11.5% 10.3% 13.7% 11.7% 12.0% 13.9% 12.8% 11.3% 11.5% 44.2% 36.5% 38.5% 44.9% 57.3% 57.5% 35.3% 54.0% 45.0% 46.9% 45.3% 51.3% 47.3% 47.0% 37.3% 36.0% Sources: Texas Workforce Commission, and Bureau of Labor Statistics Review of South Texas Business Conditions 11 llllllllllll llllllllllll