AQUA BOOK 2014 II - Page 18

T he bottom line of regional economic development is sustainable improvement in the community’s quality of life along with a high standard of living. Despite having the nation’s fastest job growth, the Coastal Bend’s economic foundation remains as fragile as it has been historically. Most communities in the region except Nueces County have relatively high levels of specialization in businesses and occupations. The oil and gas sector dominates local employment across much of the region. Much of self-employment in the regional workforce is also concentrated in the growing oil and gas and construction industries. Large firms particularly in those thriving industries have expanded more rapidly than small businesses and self-employment indiv