AQUA BOOK 2015 - Page 5

A WILD RIDE S outh Texas followed a roller coaster ride in the past decade. Low interest rates and lax financial regulations helped create a real estate bubble nationwide in the mid-2000s. The U.S. housing boom in turn precipitated the 2007–2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession, the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Since the depths of the Great Recession, the pace of recovery across South Texas’ local communities has varied remarkably, but the region as a whole and much of the state have far outpaced the rest of the nation in job and income growth. The so-called shale oil revolution emerged as the state’s “game changer” in the late 2000’s. Most oil and gas drilling in the state’s major shale plays occurred in rural communities, leaving local public officials with growing pains associated with housing and labor shortages and rising demand for infrastructure supports. Annual Review of South Texas Economy ECONOMIC TRENDS But then exuberance about booming oil and gas production dissipated quickly in the wake of p