A Report on the Austin Economy in 2018

Post by
Scott Francis

I thought I'd point to some local reporting on the Austin economy from the Austin-American Statesman for those interested. Austin gets plenty of coverage from national outlets, but usually in a fairly breathless fashion that only an outsider could stand to write. The local writing here in Austin reflects more measured tones and concerns about how we both achieve the next level of growth, and how we responsibly "spread the wealth" so to speak and preserve the things that make Austin the special place that it is.? Of course, sometimes local writing lacks a broader perspective, but there's also (a little) less focus on page-clicks.

"This time around, the Austin economy is far more diverse and resilient. However, two critical issues from the dot-com past are reemerging and will shape 2018 ? technology?s ability to increase productivity and prosperity; and the threat the tech industry could pose to a broad-based sharing of those gains."

Angelos Angelou is a voice of reason in analyzing Austin's economy over the years:

?What?s odd for me is that the same challenges we?ve had for the last few years have actually been amplified,? said Angelos Angelou, principal executive officer of Angelou Economics in Austin.

Angelou argues that Austin needs more radical proposals to get out ahead of the affordability, transportation, education and other structural challenges that attend its rapid growth. For his part, he?d like to hear more about things like subways, faster workforce-training programs based on coding academy models, and a more comprehensive overhaul of the city?s land-use regulations.

?We need to be looking not year-to-year, but over 10- and 20-year horizons to expand our economic development and prosperity in Austin,? he said. ?But tough investments have to be made now to see those benefits in the future.?

For those curious about Austin's economy and some of the sectors within it, this article is a good read, and yet still barely scratches the surface.? I feel fortunate to have chosen Austin as my home to have a front row seat to what's happening here.

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