Refugio County Refugio county’s overall economy is well-diversified. The government sector is the largest employer, accounting for nearly 30 percent of local employment. In the private sector, oil and gas extraction and its support services in the mining sector are the primary industries. Since 2008, the number of individuals working directly in oil and gas extraction has reduced over the years from 87 to 61, while the number of jobs in the supporting role for oil and gas drilling has more than doubled from 182 to 402. Other industries supporting the expanding oil and gas production activity, such as trade contractors, restaurants and gas stations, have also undergone significant expansion. Employment Growth 2012-13 by Industry Government Other Services (except Public Admin) Accommodation & Food Services Arts & Recreation Health Care & Social Assistance Educational Services (Private) Administrative & Support Management of Businesses Professional & Scientific Services Real Estate & Rental Finance & Insurance Information Transportation & Warehousing Retail Trade Wholesale Trade Manufacturing Construction Utilities Mining Agriculture -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Except for the development in oil and gas extraction, employment has been relatively steady across different industries. During 2013, the strongest job growth occurred among machinery rental businesses, which added a total of 14 jobs. Partly due to its relatively small size, the rental industry showed a 64 percent gain. The utilities sector also saw similar Sales 70 Home Starts Volume, $mil (left scale) 70% Y-o-Y % Change (right scale) 60 60% 50% 40% 50 30% 40 20% 30 10% 0% 20 -10% 12 10 8 6 4 2 -30% 0 0 -40% 2009 2010 With a diversified economy, 2011 businesses in Refugio county held up in 2009 better than businesses elsewhere in the Coastal Bend. The county’s business receipts rose rapidly in 2010 and 2011, and then tapered off during the following 30 14 -20% 10 2008 | expansion of 40 percent as a result of the addition of four employees in natural gas distribution. 2012 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 two years. The current volume of annual business sales at $230 million remains nearly 50 percent above the 2008 level. As with other counties in the Coastal Bend, new home construction in this county fluctuated over the past five years Annual Review of the South Texas Economy – 2014 Edition with slowdowns in 2010 and 2011. The numbers of new home starts in 2012 and 2013 were near the peaks reached in 2004 and 2005.