AQUA BOOK 2015 - Page 9

WAGE EARNINGS T he impact of the shale oil boom on the South Texas economy became evident in 2011. Soaring drilling activity in the Eagle Ford Shale first fueled demand for workers in various industries from oil and gas exploration and extraction to pipeline construction and truck transportation. Wage hikes in those industries then attracted workers from other industries. Rising labor demand added upward pressure on local wages across South Texas. In 2012, Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Laredo saw double-digit gains in annual wage earnings. In addition to solid employment growth, wage hikes at nearly 10 percent in Corpus Christi bolstered total wage income growth by about 13 percent in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Corpus Christi’s total wage growth over 6 percent remained the highest in South Texas, exceeded only by some areas in the Permian Basin. Wage Earnings, Annual Growth Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis; author’s calculations. Annual Review of South Texas Economy ECONOMIC TRENDS Rising labor demand added upward pressure on local wages across South Texas. 7