Permian Basin expected to lead Texas in job growth due to booming oil and gas sector

Midland and Odessa not only enjoy among the lowest unemployment rates in Texas, the cities and the Permian Basin in general are projected to lead the state in job creation over the next five years, courtesy of the region’s booming oil and gas industry.

That’s according to this new report from Newswest9 that sourced data from the Texas Workforce Commission and spoke with Ray Perryman, president of The Perryman Group, about the impacts and response to the growth.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest report, Midland achieved the lowest unemployment rate in Texas at 2.6 percent in May, with Odessa not far behind at 3.2 percent. Meanwhile, Perryman’s economic research firm projects the region to add over 11,000 jobs through 2027, which he said will lead the state by a “wide margin.” Perryman echoed sentiments shared by Midland Mayor Lori Blong’s 2023 State of the City address that the oil and gas sector plays an integral role in this growth.

“You’re seeing more restaurants open, you’re seeing more retail venues open, and all that’s kind of driven by the oil and gas sector,” Perryman told Newswest9. “We’re seeing some expansion in our health care sectors right now, things of that nature. So, you’re seeing a lot of that type of growth taking place, but again, much of it is driven by the strength of the oil and gas sector.”

Perryman and Mayor Blong both stress the need to respond to potential impacts of growth. Among the leaders in the response is the Permian Strategic Partnership, or PSP, a first-of-its-kind collaboration of 20 energy companies operating in the Permian Basin. From 2019, when PSP was established, to 2022, PSP directly invested $125 million into improving quality of life for Permian Basin residents, with funding going toward a wide variety of efforts in education, workforce development, road safety, housing, healthcare and other sectors, according to PSP’s just-released annual report. Those direct investments generated over $1 billion in community support and collaborative investments, according to PSP.

“As energy security remains an ongoing global concern, the Permian Basin has proven essential in meeting the world’s energy requirements,” said Don Evans, chairman of PSP and former U.S. Commerce Secretary during the George W. Bush administration.  “We must continue to invest in our region, ensuring its readiness to fulfill the demands of the global energy landscape.”